Articles Posted in Labor & Employment Law

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Autumn LeavesFall has finally arrived in sunny California. For weeks, we have witnessed the shortening rays of the sun’s glorious light. Now, as the leaves explode in color to red, orange and yellow hues, we know that the holiday season is but a few weeks away.

For some, the holiday season can be stressful. How much turkey should I prepare for Thanksgiving dinner? Can I recycle a resolution from a previous New Year’s day? But one question that should be easier to answer this year is how much money to allocate to health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs).


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Silicon Valley-based solar panel giant SunPower sued five former employees and competitor SolarCity today, contending that shortly before they left SunPower, the employees connected USB drives to the company’s computer network, “and used them to steal tens-of-thousands of computer files” with confidential and non-confidential proprietary information.

In addition to civil damages and injunctive relief, SunPower also wants to hold the ex-employees criminally liable for violating a California law prohibiting unauthorized computer data access and fraud.

The case raises important questions about what, if any, data loss prevention (DLP) systems were in place to prevent employee theft and the loss of such highly confidential and proprietary data. How could the alleged data transfer of information on hundreds of millions of dollars in sales at a Silicon Valley company occur so brazenly?


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A lawsuit filed by current and former employees of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration charges that the agency accessed and spied on their personal e-mail accounts after scientists and doctors alerted Congress and the media that certain radiation-emitting computer detection devices may not be safe or effective.

The lawsuit filed by scientists and doctors charges that nine FDA employees (the “FDA Nine”) had their private, personal, password protected email accounts on Google and Yahoo secretly recorded by the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the government agency to which the FDA reports.

Why? Because the FDA scientists and doctors engaged in whistleblower-protected conduct by voicing concerns about radiation-induced cancer risks allegedly involving medical devices that the agency regulated.


Tagged: email, FDA, HHS

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You would think that Silicon Valley giants would compensate their employees well, support their professional growth, and know that a time will come when they leave for greener pastures.

C-level execs at Apple, Google, Adobe, Pixar, Intel, Intuit, and Lucasfilm apparently thought, acted, and communicated differently, however, according to newly revealed legal documents in an employee class-action lawsuit (see below).


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A FedEx Office employee who worked at the company for more than two decades sued his employer, claiming that FedEx fired him specifically because he was performing jury duty. (Read the lawsuit below)

Federal law prohibits employers from firing, threatening, intimidating, or coercing any permanent employee who performs jury service.

What makes this lawsuit particularly disturbing is that FedEx not only derives substantial profits from serving the legal community’s document and technology needs, but that the company itself has benefitted directly from America’s jury system.


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Delaware’s Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision allowing an H-P shareholder to take a peek at lawyer Gloria Allred’s letter alleging that her client, former H-P contractor and actress Jodie Fisher, was sexually harassed by the company’s then CEO Mark Hurd.

Citing a lack of trade secrets, as well as proprietary and nonpublic information, the court rejected Hurd’s attempts to keep Fisher’s original harassment allegations in the letter secret (ss the court opinion below).