Scott is an associate in Dorsey’s Labor & Employment Group. His practice includes providing legal research and litigation support on a variety of employment issues. Scott also provides advice and counseling to his clients on compliance with various state and federal employment laws.
Question: There has been a lot of news coverage lately on restroom policies related to transgender employees. Can you provide some guidance on how to structure our restroom-use policies to be both lawful and respectful of all employees? More generally, can you help me understand the appropriate, respectful terminology in this area? I certainly don’t want to offend anyone on purpose, and I also don’t want to do so by mistake. Answer→
Question: Our company uses agreements to try to protect our confidential and proprietary information. One of our former sales employees recently left us to work for a competing company. We have evidence he took with him our confidential information about our clients and is planning to use it to sell products to our clients for his new employer. When we reminded him he could not use our confidential information, he said we couldn’t stop him because the information does not qualify as a “trade secret” under our state’s trade secrets laws. We looked into the issue, and he’s probably right that this information is not necessarily a “trade secret”. We’re worried there’s nothing we can do to stop him from using our information to steal our clients. Help?
Question: Our company uses non-compete and non-solicit agreements that bar former employees from having contact with any client of our company after they leave. One former employee who recently left is now claiming the agreement is invalid because it is “overly broad” in that it bars him from soliciting not only those clients of ours he used to work with, but clients he never had any dealings with. I can see his point, but at the same time, how are we supposed to know when he signs the agreement which of our clients he will end up working with?
Question: One of our company’s employees recently left to start a competing business. We think he started this process while he was still employed by us, and that he is probably using information he learned from us. We’re in California, so I know we don’t have a non-compete agreement with him. Do we have any other recourse?
We’re a large company with offices in many locations, including in California, Minnesota, Washington and New York City. We often have disabled employees provide doctors’ notes that say they are unable to work, but that do not provide an expected date the employee will be cleared medically to return. When we ask these individuals for a return date, they usually say they don’t know or that their doctor told them they need to be off work for “as long as necessary.” We have no idea whether this means one week or one year. Do we have to grant employees leave if there is no end in sight? It makes planning on our end very difficult.
Between the flu and the current measles outbreak, we are considering imposing a requirement on each of our employees to get a flu vaccine each year and either get the MMR vaccine or provide proof that they have received it in the past. We’re concerned not just about employee productivity, but also the health of all of our employees and our customers. Are there any legal issues we need to worry about?
The recent media coverage of Ebola has been overwhelming. As an employer, I want to be prepared and proactive to protect our employees and our business, but I also don’t want to overreact to what is seemingly a very small threat. What steps can, and should, I take to protect my employees? Does Ebola potentially implicate any state or federal employment law obligations that I should be aware of? Answer→
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