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Workers need to know that customer lists are secret

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Want to stop unfair competition from former employees? Have them acknowledge that customer lists that they may have access to are considered trade secrets and that they can’t solicit customers from those lists after leaving.

Recent case: Two former employees of Wanke, a construction company, had signed confidentiality agreements as a condition of their employment. They left Wanke and formed their own competing company.

Wanke sued, seeking to stop them from using customer lists to market their company.

The court agreed with Wanke that the lists were trade secrets and that the employees had promised to keep the lists secret. (Wanke Industrial Commercial Residential, Inc. v. Superior Court, No. 4711888, Court of Appeal of California, 4th Appellate District, 2012)

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