ALERT- Trade Secrets and DC Wages


The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 grants federal protection for trade secret misappropriation. It requires that the party bringing a civil action be (1) the owner of the trade secret and (2) that the trade secret be “related to a product or service used or intended to be used in interstate or foreign commerce.”

The new trade secrets law requires any contract or agreement with an employee to include a notice provision addressing the immunity from disclosure of trade secrets to the government or the courts. If an employer does not comply with the notice requirement, it may not be awarded certain damages or fees in a future action against an employee.

It is also worth noting that the new law permits a court, in extreme circumstances, to approve seizure of property by federal law enforcement to prevent further “dissemination of the trade secret.”

The statute was enacted on May 11. It is very important that your restrictive covenants are reviewed to ensure compliance with the new notice requirement.

D.C. Council Announces Likely Minimum Wage Increase Beginning 2017

Earlier this month, the D.C. Council agreed to raise the city’s hourly minimum wage from $10.50 to $15.00 by July 2020. The current D.C. minimum wage rate of $10.50 an hour is already scheduled to increase by a dollar in July 2016 (to $11.50). If the new bill is approved, the DC minimum wage will increase by another dollar in July 2017, and then by about $0.70 a year until it reaches $15.00 in 2020. After that, increases will be automatic and tied to the Consumer Price Index.

Tipped employees will also be getting an increase to their base pay. Minimum wage for employees entitled to a tip credit will increase in increments of approximately $0.56 a year to $5.00 (from $2.77) by 2020. After 2020, the tipped minimum will also be tied to the Consumer Price Index. As always, if the tips received by a worker do not equal an amount at least equal to the difference between the hourly wage paid and regular minimum wage, employers will have to make up the difference.

The bill will also require that the living wage at least equal the minimum wage.

Approval is likely as the Mayor has already announced that she will sign the bill into law. If approved, the changes will take effect beginning next year.

Contact info: Meredith S. Campbell Chair, Employment and Labor Group, Shulman Rogers [email protected] | T 301.255.0550 | F 301.230.2891