Alaska companies likely have important information that gives them an advantage over their competition. Whether it is a formula, a recipe, a device, formula, client list or any form of information that gives them a competitive edge, it can be considered a trade secret. Employers would most likely want to protect their trade secrets and want their employees to know what their policies regarding privacy are.
What are trade secrets?
Trade secrets do not only have to be financial or accounting information. It can range from company information like blueprints, test date, customer information, legal or recruiting information, to future product designs, unique products and unpatented inventions. Trade secret protection can be available for any ideas or information that need to remain confidential.
How should employers protect trade secrets?
The first step employers should take is to identify their trade secrets. To do so, it is important to consider who knows the information, how is the information being protected, the value of the information to the company, how difficult is it for others to get access to that information and how much money was used to develop the information. Companies should then create a policy on how to protect trade secrets. This policy needs to be in writing and should include information on how to recognize trade secrets and when it can be revealed to other people. This policy should not only be provided to employees, but workers should also be educated about it and what violating the policy means.
Having a trade secret protection policy in writing ensures employees know how seriously companies take their confidentiality and what the repercussions are for violating it. it can also help in litigation in case trade secrets get out. An experienced employment law attorney can help employers draft a comprehensive policy so they can protect their sensitive information.