Jennifer Lawson Vs. Greene; Employment Discrimination
MemorandumTO: Legal Department FROM: Peter A. NovakDATE: May 12, 2018RE: Case: Greene vs. Jennifer Lawson; breach of confidenatiality ageement andCase: Jennifer Lawson vs. Greene; employment discrimination.Jennifer Lawson, upon being employed at Greene’s Jewerly Wholesale, signed a confidentiality agreement never to disclose any information she would acquire from Greene’s preocesses used to create Ever-Gold. Upon her termionaination at Greene, Jennifer Lawson saught employment at Howell Jewerly World wherby she provided and divulged to Howell the secreat processes used to create Ever-Gold which would be a breach of confidentiality agreement between Jennifer and Green’s Jewerly Wholesale. Additionally, her terminaltion at Greene’s Jewerly was a direct result of our companies decision to downsize and elimainting non essecailt positions. Unlike Jennifers’s claim that she was terminated due to employment discimination regarding her request for addition time off pertinaing to her pregency.A confidentiality agreement is a legally binding contract whereby the employee agrees not to disclose any information about the company. It is used in order to protect certain information that is secret or that is not intended to be shared with the general public. Confidentiality agreements are also referred to as non-disclosure agreements, secrecy agreements or intelletual property agreement. It is a legally binding document but there are a few loop holes that would void the agreement. The information being protected happens to become public knowledge.The secrect information is required in the help of an investigation.A third party outside the contract reveals the information to the public.If the secrect was independently developed or discovered.Third party health or safety is at risk.None of the above scenarios listed apply to annul the confidentiality agreement between Jennifer and Greene. In the case of RKI(Roll-Kraft), Inc. v. Grimes, the employee, Steven Grimes signs a 2-year deal and agrees during the term and thereafter that he won’t reveal proprietary information. Roll-Kraft is an Ohio corporation with its main place of business in Mentor, Ohio. Roll-Kraft was founded in 1963. Roll-Kraft is engaged in the business of producing and selling tube and pipe mill rolls and roll formed tooling. Steven Grimes position was a salesperson for Roll-Kraft. Steven had access to and used Roll-Krafts customer contact management system (the “ACT” system) which contained confidential, sensitive, proprietary information for each customer and potential customer of Roll-Kraft. Steven Grimes was solicited to work for a competitor, Chicago Roll. Prior to his resignation, Steven downloaded Roll-Kraft customer information from its databases. On October 18, 2001, he began work as a salesman for Chicago Roll and started to call upon and solicit Roll-Kraft customers. Steven Grimes used Roll-Krafts confidential information to immediately solicited business for Chicago Roll from customers whom he had called on for Roll-Kraft just a few days earlier, using Roll-Krafts confidential information to gain a competitive advantage. In just a few days, Grimes made several sales to such customers. Shortly thereafter Roll-Kraft immediately issues a cease and desist letter to Steven Grimes demanding that he comply with his obligations under his confidentiality agreement he had with Roll-Kraft. On November 6, 2001, Roll-Kraft filed its complaint with the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois found the confidentiality provision of contract was enforceable and Steven Grimes was in breach of confidentiality agreement he signed with Roll-Kraft, a violation of the Illinois Trade Secrets Act (“ITSA”). Roll-Kraft had to prove two items, the first is the existence of a trade secret; and second, the misappropriation of that trade secret.
Under the Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964 it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate anyone pertaining to compensation, terms, conditions because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. In 1978, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was amended to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law makes it illegal to discriminate against a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.Referenceing the case of Kathy Smith v. F.W. Morse & Co., Kathy Smith worked for Damar Plastics & Metal Fabricators, Inc.(Damar) in Somersworth, New Hamphire, where it crafted custom componets for high technology applications. She joined the company in 1976 and advanced to production manager. In 1988, F.W. Morse & Co., Inc.(Morse) acquired Damar’s business and assests. Shortly after the aquisistion, Morse concluded that Damar had too many managers and not enough workers and therefore started to re-organize and consolidate the functions and postions of the management and employees.At the time of the acquisition, Kathy Smith informed Morse that she became pregannt and would need maternity leave. Morse had no formal maternity leave policy but honered her request and assured her that her postion was safe. Upon her return from materity leave, Kathy was informed that her position was eliminated. Smith sued Morse in a New Hamphire state court alleging wrongful discharge based on gender discrimination,intentional infliction of emotional distrss and breach of contract. The focus on this case will be on gender discrimination. Morse moved the case to federal court because Kathy Smith’s claim fell under Title VII and thus prompting federal jurisdication.APPLICABLE STANDARD TO THIS CASE:Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2, states:(a) it shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge an individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his or [her] compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individuals race, religion, sex, or national origin.The 1978 enactment of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) amended the definitional section of Title VII, providing in part: The terms “because of sex” or “on the basis of sex” include but are not limited to, because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes … as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work….42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k).An employee plaintiff is not required to “identify the precise causal role played by the legitimate and illegitimate motivations in the employment decision she challenges.” Fields v. Clark University, 966 F.2d 49, 52 (1st Cir. 1992); quoting Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228, 241, 109 S. Ct. 1775, 1785-86, 104 L. Ed. 2d 268 (1989). Instead “[a] plaintiff can establish a violation of Title VII under a `mixed motives theory by showing that [gender] discrimination played a role in the challenged employment decision.” Tolefree v. City of Kansas City, Mo., 980 F.2d 1171, 1174 (8th Cir.1992).