Because California is such a hotbed of innovation and product development, there can be a high level of competitiveness among different companies. It is important for anyone who works in the technology sector to understand some basics about what may be involved with allegations of violating trade secrets, leaking intellectual property or other such offenses. Companies also should be well-versed in how to protect themselves against such actions.
Contracts such as non-disclosure agreements may commonly be used by employers as a means of protecting their confidential information as employees often have access to sensitive data in order to perform their jobs. The Mercury News recently reported on a case in which six people who each worked for at least one year for a company no longer in business have been accused of violating their non-disclosure employee agreements.
All six employees now face criminal charges for these allegations although they had been found innocent of any misappropriation of trade secrets in 2016 by the International Trade Commission. A civil lawsuit between the original employer and the new employer and the six employees has been settled but details of that settlement are not known. Now it is Homeland Security Investigations which has levied the criminal charges. Prison time and high fines are on the line for each defendant if found guilty.
People accused of leaking confidential information in an employment situation might want to talk with an attorney about how to defend themselves against these allegations and protect their right to further their careers.