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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 34066
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I was fired on friday by my boss (marketing director at a med

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I was fired on friday by my boss (marketing director at a med size company) (didnt get along with my boss - my performance was fine - president said he would give me a recommendation).

To get the severance package I have to sign a separation agreement that says among other stuff I cant reveal strategies, disparage customers, etc...I'd like to go to one of our partners and ask for a job. Id like to give them some background about the relationship which may make them want me more. Can I do this...and then sign the agreement? I dont need to get it back to them for 21 days.

I'm a pretty savvy guy...I wouldn't go crazy given I would need to work with both companies in the future...
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
If what you mean is that you want to disclose information that is claimed as a trade secret by your employer, who is a partner in an organization to another partner in the organization, then that is not a violation of your confidentiality agreement, because the right to enforce the agreement belongs to the organization as a whole, not to any individual partner.

Partners, as a matter of law, are agents of the partnership, and owe it a duty of loyalty. So, one partner cannot lawfully conceal valuable information from any other partner.

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

By partner I mean business partner...not a partner in the company. We license the barnd for cookware. I want to go work for the licensor. I want to talk to the licensor about a job...
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
I see.

Even if you don't sign the severance agreement, using trade secret info from a former employer is subject to legal action. Your former employer is not permitted to prevent you from competing, because noncompete agreements are prohibited under California law (Bus. & Prof. Code 16600). But, it is lawful to sue for the theft of intellectual property. So, you can work for the affiliated business -- you just can't provide confidential information from the former employer as a "carrot."

Naturally, proving that you are doing this could be quite difficult, so what I'm explaining is the law, so that you know where you stand. The practical reality of the difficulty in proving an intellectual property theft may immunize you from a lawsuit, regardless of the law.

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!

socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 34066
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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