I’m a very long suffering New York Knicks basketball fan. Even though the Knicks have not won a National Basketball Association (NBA) championship in over 50 years, I still bought a “vintage” Knicks jersey of my man #33 Patrick Ewing, who is one of my favorite former Knicks players, last month (and I still need to buy a jersey of my other favorite Knicks player, Bernard King #30).
As both a hardcore Knicks fan and as a lawyer, I just read about a recent filing of a lawsuit by the Knicks against another NBA team called the Toronto Raptors.
The Knicks sued the Raptors claiming that a former team employee who joined the Raptors stole proprietary information from the Knicks and shared it with the Raptors.
In my view, the lawsuit serves as a reminder that although we are quickly moving into a new technological area that is led by AI, there continues to be a “war” for great talent and employees are still highly important assets for any organizations.
As in-house counsel, here’s some good reminders for us at the intersection of employment law and information security:
🏀 Employment/Confidentiality Agreement: It’s always a best practice for company employees to sign a standard, thoughtful and suitable employment/confidentiality agreement on their first day of work.
🏀 Employee Leaving for a New Role: When an employee leaves for a new opportunity, I think it’s always a good idea to conduct an exit interview with that person, provide a copy of his/her signed employment/confidentiality agreement to that person and to remind that person of his/her ongoing obligations under that agreement. Also, consider eliminating an employee’s access to company confidential information when he/she tenders his/her resignation.
🏀 Due Diligence with New Hire: Before you hire a new employee, if possible, it’s important to understand the nature of any existing employment/confidentiality agreements or other unique contractual arrangements that such new employee may already have in place.
🏀 New Employee’s Role with New Employer: I believe that a new employer should avoid putting any new employee into a role which may potentially serve to cause that new employee to violate existing obligations with a previous employer.
🏀 Teammates of New Employee: The teammates of that new employee should avoid asking certain questions or seeking information from that new employee that can be viewed as “digging” for confidential information that the new employee had access to at his/her previous employer.
While my Knicks still need to make some more offseason moves to be a viable contender for a potential NBA championship, I’m looking forward to the upcoming basketball season and Let’s Go Knicks!