VIRGINIA TRADE SECRET ACT — 150 150 Lauren Ellerman

We are reviewing many non-compete agreements a week. We sometimes, but rarely see the same agreement from multiple employees at one company. Usually, we are asked to examine different agreements from different companies from all over the State.

The following is true about every employee in Virginia, regardless of whether you have a non-compete agreement:

You are not permitted to share TRADE SECRET INFORMATION retained at one company, with another company. Nor can you use that information for your own gain. The information belongs, legally speaking, to the employer, not you. This even applies if you CREATED the secret information as an employee.

What? If you share or create information / product / code / design – it belongs to the company? YES. Often it does, and if you “take it with you” you may get sued for breach of the Trade Secret Act.

So before you leave and try to take that information with you, speak to an attorney. You are bound by the act regardless of whether you have an employment agreement.

About the author

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at

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