As an employer of a company that relies upon its own creativity and business ideas to generate a profit, you are aware of the importance of trade secrets and of preventing the competition from stealing them. However, before the passing of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), it was more difficult for a company to wade through the many complex state laws and legal agreements that were meant to protect these trade secrets. Now, however, the DTSA is a law that stands behind all other laws and works in conjunction with them to help you protect the trade secrets that you worked so hard to create.
How the DTSA Protects Trade Secrets
The DTSA is a federal law that empowers the owners of trade secrets to file a civil lawsuit in a federal court when this confidential information has been misappropriated. This law defines trade secrets as any sort of information, like computer programs, designs, chemical formulas, plans or similar that has economic value for the company and that is meant to be kept confidential. If the plaintiff in one of these civil lawsuits wins the case, he/she can be awarded up to twice the financial damages that occurred as a result of the misappropriation. The owner of a trade secret may also apply to the court for an ex parte seizure of the property involved in misappropriating the trade secret.
Whistleblowers and Immunity
Even though the DTSA protects the trade secrets of companies, there are circumstances under which it is legal for a whistleblower to disclose a trade secret. For example, if the trade secret involves an activity that is illegal, it may be reported in confidence to a government official and the whistleblower is then protected by federal law. This protection is called immunity. Under the DTSA, the employer must also notify employees of this immunity. An experienced California employment defense lawyer can help the employer to use the correct language for this notification so that all requirements of the DTSA are met.
Call to Schedule a Consultation With a California Employment Defense Lawyer Today
If you are an employer who wants to learn more about ensuring the security of trade secrets and confidential information, call to schedule a consultation with a California employment defense lawyer today. The skilled legal professionals at the Straggas Law Group, APC can advise you of ways to protect your confidential information so that it is less likely to fall into the wrong hands. We serve the cities of Irvine, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa and surrounding Orange County communities. Visit our website at straggaslaw.com or give us a call at 949-660-9100 and let us give you legal advice you can rely on.