March 6, 2024

Munger, Tolles & Olson Partner Carolyn Luedtke Quoted in WorkLife Article on Trade Secrets Liability and Document Storage in Remote Work Arrangements

Munger, Tolles & Olson Partner Carolyn Hoecker Luedtke was quoted in WorkLife’s recent article titled “Layoffs of Hybrid, Remote Workers Spur New Trade Secrets Liability Risks.” The article discusses how remote and hybrid work arrangements have made it harder to safeguard digital trade secrets and offers advice on how to manage risk, especially during layoffs.

It can be difficult for both employers and employees to know exactly where sensitive company data are being stored at all times. While this is not a new challenge, the rise of remote work arrangements has only exacerbated the issue, Ms. Luedtke told WorkLife.

“It was always a challenge before but this is a bigger challenge now that everybody’s living digital lives, with huge storage capacities on many devices in many locations,” she said.

When remote or hybrid workers—storing sensitive company information on at-home laptops, cell phones, and storage devices—are laid off, they could inadvertently or nefariously take sensitive trade secrets with them. This puts employees, employers and even future employers at legal risk, according to the article.

“It’s not like the old days where—you just sat in your office, left behind all your files in your file cabinets and left behind your computer. Now you have people who have been working from their phones, they’ve been working from their tablets, they’ve been working from their personal laptop, they’ve been working from their spouse’s laptops, in all kinds of locations,” Ms. Luedtke said.

Read the full WorkLife article.