How can you protect your company from having former employees divulge trade secrets or take customer relationships to competing firms? How does the law regard inventions and copyrights; who owns them?
Answers to these questions will vary depending on the status of the employee. There are specific protections for rank-and-file employees, as well as certain expectations of executives when it comes to misappropriation of company assets and non-compete contracts. This course will help you understand the rationale behind these laws and how they play out in real-life situations.
You begin with a focus on the employee's obligations to their employer: When is it acceptable to compete with a former employer, when is it not acceptable, and how can you tell the difference? The course proceeds with an exploration of the variety of contracts that employers can use to protect themselves from employees competing in various ways. You will have a chance to evaluate restrictive covenants and reflect on the question of what constitutes legitimate business interests. You will gain familiarity with aspects of the reasonably tailored tests. The course ends with a look at the legal responsibilities that apply to copyrights and inventions and introduces the role that a well-crafted holdover clause can play in protecting the interests of a business.
It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed Employment Law in Practice or have equivalent experience.
KEY COURSE TAKEAWAYS
Assess your duty of loyalty
Determine when restrictive covenants are enforceable
Jonathan and Ruby Zhu Professor of Law, Cornell Law School
Stewart J. Schwab is the Jonathan and Ruby Zhu Professor of Law at Cornell Law School and was its Allan R. Tessler Dean from 2004 to 2014. He has been a member of the Cornell Law School faculty since 1983.
A native of North Carolina, he obtained his J.D. as well as a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. Before joining the Cornell faculty, Professor Schwab clerked for Judge J. Dickson Phillips, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and then for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court.
Professor Schwab is a leading scholar in economic analysis of law and in employment law. He was a reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of Employment Law and for the Uniform Law Commission Study Committee on Covenants Not to Compete, and he has been named by Human Resource Executive as one of the 50 most powerful employment attorneys in America. He is an editor of the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, as well as a member of the Society of Empirical Legal Studies and the American Law and Economics Association.
Professor Schwab has taught widely in the curriculum, including Torts, Contracts, Corporations, Discrimination Law, Employment Law, Labor Law, Law and Economics, and Whistleblower Law.