Employer Rights Attorneys
One of the most difficult things for employers to do is to file a lawsuit against a former employee. If not done with due diligence, employers may find themselves in a precarious position with counter-suits. Sometimes, it seems the law favors employees, but employers also have rights.
At Lerner & Weiss, we work diligently on behalf of employers in order to ensure that all of their rights are protected. We do the proper investigation before lawsuits against former employees are filed to minimize any risks or repercussions.
Breach of Contract
There are times when employees do not fulfill the obligations and duties they agreed to in their employment contracts. When this happens, employers may file suit against their employees.
Courts will award damages to compensate employers for the losses they sustained due to the employee breach. This may be restitution to repay the employer for agreed upon work that was not performed. At Lerner & Weiss, we work to be sure employers do not suffer losses when employees breach their contracts.
Violations of Non-Compete Clauses
This is a very tricky and complex area of California law which does not favor non-compete clauses. This leads some former employees to believe they can violate the term without consequences.
Our experienced employment contract attorneys know the restrictions that can be enforced. We also know the risks of bringing such a lawsuit, including the possibility of paying the employees legal fees if we lose. We carefully weigh the benefits and risks and we make the decision together about the best way to proceed.
Revealing Trade Secrets
California has adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act which protects employers when employees or former employees reveal trade secrets in violation of the terms of their employment contract. The first step may be to obtain an injunction preventing the employee from misappropriating the trade secret.
The employee or former employee may also be ordered to pay compensatory damages to the employer for any losses sustained due to the misappropriation. In situations where the misappropriation was particularly egregious, punitive damages may be ordered and the employee may be required to pay the employer’s attorneys’ fees.
According to the law, a lawsuit must be filed within three years after the misappropriation was discovered or reasonably could have been discovered if the owner had used due diligence.
Misappropriation of trade secrets may also violate federal law. At Lerner & Weiss, one of our attorneys will review the circumstances of your trade secret allegation and determine if lawsuits should be filed in state or federal court or both.
Lawsuits against employees by employers alleging misconduct need to be treated with the proverbial “kid gloves” in mind. Investigations must be conducted with due diligence all the while carefully avoiding any action that could be interpreted as harassment, retaliation or wrongful termination.
California law requires that a good-faith investigation revealed the employers’ good faith belief that the employee engaged in misconduct. Some of the most common examples of misconduct are:
- Misappropriation of cash.
- Conversion of property.
- Destruction of employer’s property.
- Making false statements on employment application.
- Falsifying the work record.
- Sexually harassing another employee.
If you are an employer considering filing a lawsuit against an employee or former employee, you need to know that any such lawsuit must be treated with care and due diligence. Our employment law attorneys have the experience you need to do the proper investigation and the expertise to protect all of your rights as an employer. Contact us to arrange for a consultation.