Wisconsin employees may be interested in an article discussing two ways that companies attempt to protect their trade secrets by limiting the future job opportunities of an employee. These contractual agreements and legal doctrines have serious implications that could affect a person's right to work where they choose.
The inevitable disclosure doctrine says that if an employee knows the trade secrets of a former employer and they go to work in a very similar position at a competitor, they will inevitably disclose those trade secrets simply by doing their job. It requires the employer to convince a judge that the employee will use those secrets in their new job. If evidence of the job similarity and the exposure to trade secrets can be shown, an injunction is possible. Some courts also look for evidence of bad faith in the employee's job change. Courts are often cautious about issuing these injunctions for fear of preventing the employee from using their expertise and making a living.
Employment contracts often contain clauses such as confidentiality and non-compete agreements. These can have a far-reaching effect on the career of the employee when they are too broad. An attorney may be able to help by reviewing the contract and explaining the potential ramifications of these clauses.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine Prevents Working for Competitors", Brad Reid, April 28, 2014