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Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Blog

According to a recent Gallup poll, thirty-seven percent (37%) of U.S. workers report that they telecommute or otherwise work remotely. Indeed, due to advances in technology, many employees never report to an office of their employer, but instead use technology to conduct business on behalf of their employer from a remote location. Remote employment, however, raises challenges that the law is just now beginning to resolve. One such challenge is ...

Since the addition of civil remedies in 1994, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030 (“CFAA”), has evolved into a potentially powerful claim in the departing employee context. The likelihood of success on CFAA claims against departing employees, however, varies by jurisdiction. Recently, numerous courts have debated, and issued divergent rulings, on the enforceability of CFAA claims against departing employees. The debate often focuses on the statute’s “without authorization” or “in excess of one’s authorization” requirement.

The Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030 (“CFAA”), since its amendment in 1994 to include civil provisions, has become a potentially powerful tool that employers can use against departing employees and their new employers. The civil provisions of the CFAA create a private right of action against those who wrongfully access, or exceed their authorized access, to a protected computer (as defined by the CFAA to includes computers used in interstate or foreign commerce or communication), thereby causing the requisite damage or loss.

Given the state of the economy, employers are more conscious than ever of the need to protect trade secrets and customer relationships when an employee leaves, especially when the departing employee is opening a competitive company or joining a competitive firm. Employers often neglect, however, to take advantage of a very simple, but extremely important, tool in dealing with departing employees: the exit interview.

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