North America

Protecting Health Care Trade Secrets with Non-Competes and Other Covenants

How can health care employers use non-competes and other restrictive covenants to protect trade secrets? Attorneys Erik Weibust and Katherine Rigby explore the options available to employers, in an article for Law360.

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Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld (RCCB) Announces Fourteen 2022 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars®

Philadelphia, PA, May 26, 2022Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld LLC (RCCB), a law firm offering a distinctive combination of practical business acumen, legal expertise, and entrepreneurial passion, today announced fourteen RCCB lawyers have been named to the 2022 Super Lawyers or Rising Stars lists.

“Highlighting the firm’s wide array of strengths, we are pleased to honor this distinguished group of lawyers who have excelled in their respective practice areas,” said Neil A. Cooper, Executive Partner.

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Video: AI Technology Regulations, Transparency in AI, OSHA’s Permanent COVID-19 Standard – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesdayThis week, we focus on compliance and transparency when using artificial intelligence (AI) tools in employment decision-making.

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What Principles of Explainability and Transparency Should an Employer Consider When Using Video Interviewing and Similar Automated Hiring Tools?

Prompted by the widespread adoption and use of video-conferencing software following the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have shifted toward video interviews to evaluate potential hires. Even as employers have begun to require in-office attendance, the widespread use of video interviewing has continued, because it is a convenient and efficient way to evaluate applicants. Some of the video interviewing tools used by employers incorporate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in an effort to maximize the effectiveness of the interview process. Often, employers contract with third-party vendors to provide these AI-powered interviewing tools, as well as other tech-enhanced selection procedures.

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Russia Restrictions Could Be a Blueprint for U.S. Response if China Invades Taiwan

On May 23, 2022, President Joe Biden, when asked whether the United States would get involved militarily if China invaded Taiwan, answered firmly, “Yes. That’s the commitment we made.”  As the world watches the war in Ukraine, many wonder whether China will take similar actions with respect to Taiwan, and what the United States’ response would be, both military and otherwise. The United States has loosed a salvo of new sanctions and export controls in response to Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine. This article, in turn, examines potential sanctions, export controls, and import restrictions the United States could place on Beijing in the event of an incursion against Taiwan.

To access the full article, click Here.

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Washington State’s Silenced No More Act, Which Largely Prohibits Nondisclosure and Nondisparagement Provisions in Employment Agreements, to Go Into Effect June 9, 2022

On March 24, 2022, Washington State signed into law the Silenced No More Act (the “Act”), greatly restricting the scope of nondisclosure and nondisparagement provisions employers may enter into with employees who either work or reside in Washington State. Effective June 9, 2022, the Act prohibits employers from requiring or requesting that an employment agreement contain a provision:

not to disclose or discuss conduct, or the existence of a settlement involving conduct, that the employee reasonably believed under Washington state, federal or common law to be illegal discrimination, illegal harassment, illegal retaliation, a wage and hour violation, or sexual assault, or that is recognized as against a clear mandate of public policy….

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Connecticut Legislature Seeks to Codify Limitations on Noncompetes

We wrote recently about a proposed bill that was introduced in the New Jersey State Assembly on May 2, 2022, which would limit certain provisions in restrictive covenants, and a bill that was passed the following day by the Colorado Senate and is expected to go into effect in August that would likewise limit the enforceability of noncompetes and other post-employment restrictive covenants. Not to be left out, members of the Connecticut General Assembly recently introduced House Bill 5249, which would limit the applicability of noncompete agreements in that state as well. The bill is very similar in many respects to the noncompete law passed in 2018 in Massachusetts, and likely borrowed heavily from that law. Here are the details:

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FTC Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Updates to Endorsement Guides

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking public comment on proposed updates to its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (Endorsement Guides). The FTC proposed a number of revisions. Some of these revisions are simply clarifications of principles embodied in the existing Endorsement Guides or otherwise established in enforcement actions, while others would substantively change the current Endorsement Guides. These new principles are based on increased knowledge of how consumers view endorsements, including endorsements on social media and in online product reviews. Read more…

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Colorado Continues Its Crackdown on Restrictive Covenants

We wrote in January about a small change in Colorado law that could have large effects because it criminalized the enforcement of noncompete agreements that violate its general noncompete statute, C.R.S. § 8-2-113. Well, the Colorado General Assembly is at it again. Passed by the Colorado Senate on May 3, 2022, and now awaiting Governor Jared Polis’s signature, HB 22-1317 would further amend C.R.S. § 8-2-113 to substantially limit the enforceability of noncompetes and other restrictive covenants for any workers other than those who are “highly compensated,” as well as imposing new, stringent notice requirements and penalties for noncompliance. This has been a trend nationwide over the past several years with respect to noncompetes, but not other post-employment restrictive covenants. If signed (which Governor Jared Polis is expected to do), the law would go into effect this August, so employers must be ready. Here are the details:

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De Minimis Dominates International Trade Commission Hearing on Foreign Trade Zones

On May 17, 2022, the U.S International Trade Commission (“USITC”) held a public hearing in connection with an investigation into the effect of Foreign Trade Zone (“FTZ”) policies and practices on U.S. firms operating in U.S. FTZs and under similar programs in Canada and Mexico. FTZs are secured areas located in or near U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP” or “Customs”) ports of entry, but merchandise in an FTZ is generally considered to be outside of U.S. Customs territory. Within an FTZ, the operator may conduct certain (CBP supervised) domestic activity involving foreign items, including storage, exhibition, assembly, manufacturing, and processing, prior to formal Customs entry. The public hearing investigating FTZs featured testimony from eight representatives of various stakeholders, including trade and industry groups, consulting firms, logistics companies, and manufacturers.

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