When employees separate from their employer, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, their first instinct is often to get electronic files and documents out of company possession and into their possession as fast as they can. Often these files are of a personal nature, but when they relate to the person’s employment, they may be protected by any employment agreement the employee signed.
Thus, former Angie’s List employees according to Angie’s List allegedly violated confidentiality and nonsolicitation agreements when they emailed company information to themselves and texted coworkers about joining them at a competing company. An Indiana appellate court recently overturned a trial court ruling that had denied Angie’s List’s requested injunctions against the two ex-employees (Angie’s List, Inc. v. Myers, et. al, 2016 WL 7493406 (Ind. App. Ct.)).
Rick M. and Maggie L. were sales representatives for Angie’s List. They had signed employment agreements promising to return any proprietary information and not to solicit company employees for one year after their employment ended with the business review website. Maggie was allowed to use her home computer and email as part of her job. They informed the company separately in December 2015 that they were leaving to work for competitor HomeAdvisor, then proceeded to email documents from their office computers to their personal email accounts. Maggie claimed her office computer contained personal information, but later admitted that the emailed material included a list of Angie’s List salespersons. Continue reading