MCLE Article: What Is Fair Game? Competing in the Employer/Employee Relationship
By Laura Kelleher
Laura Kelleher is an associate attorney at Swan Employment Law. She advocates for employees who have been harmed by discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage-theft. At the University of San Francisco School of Law, Kelleher received the CALI award for Academic Excellence in an Employment Law course. Before law school, Kelleher served for 27 months as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural El Salvador. She is also a graduate of UC Davis, where she was a rower on the university’s award winning crew team.
Although less common than cases involving wrongful termination, discrimination, and harassment, there is a subset of cases in employment law regarding unfair competition committed by either the employer or the employee. At odds in many of these cases is the right an employee has to lawfully make a living for herself1, and the right an employer has to protect its property2 Below is an overview on how these principles constrain conduct by both the employer and the employee.