Trade secret protection when an employee exits your company

| Oct 11, 2017 | Trade Secrets

Employees will come and go in all types of California industries. This is a fact that most company owners understand all too well. You likely already know how important it is to protect your trade secrets through the hiring process and for the duration of employment. However, you should also understand how to protect your secrets through the exit process as well.

Regardless of why an employee chooses to leave your company, he or she could take your trade secrets upon exit. Sometimes, this occurs as an accident and sometimes it is by design. Whatever the case, your employee exit procedure is a time in which you can remind the exiting employee of his or her legal obligations to protect your secrets post-employment.

We offer the following employee exit strategies to help ensure your secrets remain just that.

  • Conduct an exit interview: Exit interviews provide you with an opportunity to remind employees that they are obligated to continue protecting any trade secrets to which they had access during employment.
  • Collect company hardware: Make sure the exiting employee returns any company-issued laptops, cellphones, tablets, flash drives and other sensitive hardware.
  • Address employee’s personal technology: During the interview, have the exiting employee wipe any company data from all personal devices and make sure access to company networks is disabled.
  • Attorney assistance: We also recommend working with an attorney to help you develop an effective employee exit procedure that does not violate California laws or the employee’s rights.

Remember, protecting your trade secrets, including even the most basic ideas, is vital to achieving and maintaining success in today’s competitive industries. We invite you to visit us online to learn more methods of trade secret protection.