On September 27, 2012, Eadaoin Waller, counsel in our corporate department provided a very well-received presentation on a comprehensive array of corporate law issues to the Duluth Rotary at their regular meeting. ATC partners Scott Duncan and Matt Reeves are members of the Duluth Rotary.
Many businesses go to great lengths to protect their property against theft and unauthorized use or disclosure—they run background checks on employees, install keypads and other controlled-access technology at their facilities, and place firewalls and security programs on their computer systems, among other measures. But what about company property that is not stored in a file drawer or on a server? What about information stored in your employees’ heads about your customers, your products, your unique way of doing business? How do you protect that valuable company property?
Having agreements in place with your employees addressing how they can use the knowledge they gain in your service and relationships they create or manage on your behalf—both during and after their employment with you—should be a key component of your security scheme. Depending on your employees’ responsibilities, it may be necessary and reasonable to require that they refrain from disclosing or using your confidential information, from soliciting customers or other employees with whom they have a significant relationship away from you for the benefit of a competitor, or even from performing similar services for a competitor for some period of time after their employment with you ends.
Our corporate and employment lawyers routinely counsel our business clients in this area and have significant experience in drafting and enforcing such restrictive covenants. Due to recent changes in Georgia’s law in this area, employers have more flexibility than ever with respect to these agreements. To explore whether such employee covenant agreements would be beneficial to your business, please contact Eadaoin Waller or Kathleen Hart in our Corporate Department.