Are contact details of prospects considered trade secrets?

UPDATED: Oct 20, 2012

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Are contact details of prospects considered trade secrets?

I work in the investment management industry in sales and recently I have been let go by my company because a shared a few contact details of prospects with my colleagues in the industry. They also have shared a few of their own as well. All done through email and my boos new all about it as that the way the industry works.

Asked on October 20, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If you do not have an employment contract, you may be terminated at any time, for any reason, including releasing client, customer, or prospect information. If you do have a contract, you may only be terminated in accordance with its terms.

2) Yes, information regarding prospects is generally considered proprietary information of the company, so releasing or sharing it would typically be grounds for a "for cause" termination (so even if you had a contract which said you could only be fired "for cause," this would probably suffice); it would in many cases constitute grounds for the company to sue you, if they lose any business to the competitors with whom you shared this information.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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