Legal Articles

Independent Contractor versus Employee

The distinction between an independent contractor and employee is not always clear. Legally, it is important for at least two reasons: first, an employer is usually not responsible for any FICA or unemployment taxes for compensation paid to an independent contractor; and, second, an employer is generally not vicariously liable for wrongs committed by an…

Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

Trade secret litigation in Missouri can be complex. Such suits usually come about when an employee improperly accesses or discloses a trade secret of an employer/company/business. While most cases will center on whether certain information constitutes a “trade secret,” the definition of “misappropriation” is also very precise. Generally, both must be present to prevail on…

Employee Duty of Loyalty

In Missouri — even without an employment contract, non-compete agreement, non-solicitation agreement or confidentiality agreement — an employee owes his/her employer a duty of loyalty. Western Blue Print Co., LLC v. Roberts, 367 S.W.3d 7, 15 (Mo. 2012). What this generally means is that an employee cannot work directly against his/her employer’s interests. At the same…

Employer-Employee Fiduciary Duties, Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation

A fiduciary relationship exists or is established when one reposes trust and confidence in another in the handling of certain business affairs. Every employee owes his or her employer a duty of loyalty. Nat’l Rejectors, Inc. v. Trieman, 409 S.W.2d 1, 41 (Mo. 1966). This makes sense because the employer is paying the employee to carry…

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