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Employer can access hard drive on company-Owned laptop

Employers that provide laptops to employees and that suspect an employee might be aiding a competitor can inspect the company-owned laptop without violating the employee’s right to privacy. Employers should, however, exercise discretion while searching the computer …

Schaumburg woman indicted in alleged international corporate espionage scheme

Hanjuan Jin, a former software engineer for a suburban Chicago telecommunications firm identified as “Company A” for security reasons, has been indicted on charges of stealing business trade secrets and attempting to take them to China …

Of MySpace & Money: Don’t try to muzzle millennials’ salary talk


You’d never discuss how much money you make, right? Dude, that attitude is so 20th century! The 20-somethings you work with eagerly dish about salaries, bonuses and other work topics you might consider taboo. Managers tempted to forbid such talk? Don’t let them! Here’s why.

Revise confidentiality policy to omit any hint it covers wages

It’s considered impolite in many circles to discuss money, but don’t try to stop employees from talking about their pay. Setting a policy that prohibits employees from sharing information about hourly rates, salaries, bonuses or the terms of their employment could violate the National Labor Relations Act—even if your employees do not belong to a union …

What HR pros should know about trade secret misappropriation

When any valued employee leaves, the company experiences a loss. The loss is greater, however, when the former employee departs to work for a competitor and begins using the company’s confidential information or trade secrets. HR has a key role to play in protecting a company’s proprietary information. Here’s how to do it …

Landscape changing for noncompete agreements in Texas

A year and a half ago, the Texas Supreme Court clarified whether employers may require new and existing employees to sign noncompete agreements without changing their at- will status. The court concluded they can—as long as the employer provides proper consideration in return …

ICE agent in hot water over political data sharing

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent Cory Voorhis is on unpaid leave over allegations that he misused confidential agency data to aid the 2006 gubernatorial campaign of Bob Beauprez …

Privacy issues and e-Mail monitoring

Q. We would like to monitor e-mail usage at our workplace. Can we access employee e-mail without violating their rights to privacy? …

Employment contracts in North Carolina: What you need to know

Employers and employees often wonder about the benefits and drawbacks of employment contracts. Most employees do not have employment contracts. However, contracts may be appropriate for company officers, management employees, salespeople and key employees. Who’s right for an employment contract? …

Warn staff of new e-Mail scams using IRS’ name

The IRS has posted a warning about e-mail and phone-based scams that falsely use the agency’s name. The goal: Trick people into giving up their Social Security numbers and other financial data …