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Don’t go too far when investigating trade secret misappropriation by an employee (Fairly Competing, Episode 17)


When an employee leaves for a competitor, it’s not uncommon for the former employer to investigate whether the employee took information on the way out the door. But a recent case from the Georgia Court of Appeals, Patel v. Duke Hospitality LLC, highlights some limits on what the former employer can do.

As Ben discusses in his recent article about the case, “[e]mployers often assume they are empowered to exercise broad discretion when investigating employee computer misconduct, especially when employees are suspected of using company emails or computers to engage in the misconduct. However, employers should be aware of potential liability that could arise from their digital investigations and monitoring of employee computer and email use.”

In this episode, Ben, Russell  and I explore discuss some of the lessons that employers and employees can take from the Patel v. Duke Hospitality LLC case, including what employers can and cannot do when they suspect misappropriation by a departing employee.

So, come join us on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Or, if you’re just looking for the feed, it’s here: Fairly Competing RSS feed.


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