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Court Rejects Delaware Choice of Law Provision in Refusing to Enforce Customer Non-Solicitation Covenant Against California Employee

On August 26, 2019, the Delaware Chancery Court invalidated a California employee’s customer and employee non-solicitation covenant on the grounds that it violated California law. In doing so, the Court rejected the plaintiff company’s attempt to override California law by including a Delaware choice of law provision in the underlying agreement.

Delaware Court Holds Federal Law Does Not Preempt Employee Protections under State Medical Marijuana Law

The Superior Court of Delaware recently issued a decision confirming the state's protections for medical marijuana users. On December 17, 2018, in Chance v. Kraft Heinz Foods Co., the court held that the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which prohibits the use and sale of marijuana, does not preempt Delaware’s Medical Marijuana Act (DMMA). While the Chance decision is not unique—both Connecticut1 and Rhode Island2 have recently issued decisions that reached the same conclusion—the decision is noteworthy as Delaware is one of the few states that expressly prohibits the discipline or discharge of employees who use medical marijuana outside of work and subsequently test positive on a job-related drug test absent evidence of on-duty use/possession or impairment. The language of the DMMA was therefore arguably more susceptible to a challenge that a conflict existed between state and federal law. The decision is also the first to imply a private cause of action under DMMA’s employment anti-discrimination provision.

Delaware State Court Holds That Medical Marijuana User May Proceed With Lawsuit Against Employer

A Delaware state court has held that a medical marijuana user may proceed with a lawsuit against his former employer after his employment was terminated due to a positive drug test result for marijuana. Chance v. Kraft Heinz Foods Co., C.A. No. K18C-01-056 NEP (Del. Super. Ct. Dec. 17, 2018).

Delaware Court Grapples With Enforcement of Choice of Law Provisions in Restrictive Covenant Agreements

When implementing restrictive covenant agreements in their workforces, companies often grapple with how best to handle the wide variation in the law from one state to the other. One solution is to include a choice of law provision that calls for all agreements to be construed under the laws of a single state.

Delaware Adopts State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act

Beginning January 7, 2019, Delaware law will require certain businesses doing business in the state to provide at least 60 days’ advance notice of mass layoffs, plant closings, or relocations.

New Delaware Anti-Sexual Harassment Law Includes Notice Distribution, Training Requirements

A new Delaware law specifically addresses the prohibition against sexual harassment under the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (DDEA), sets an affirmative defense for employers, imposes mandatory notice distribution on employers with at least four employees within the state, and provides anti-sexual harassment training requirements for employers with at least 50 employees in the state.

Delaware Adopts Law Expanding Sexual Harassment Protections and Requiring Employee Training

On August 29, 2018, Delaware Governor John Carney signed into law a bill (SB 360) addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. The new law broadly defines, and prohibits, sexual harassment and retaliation. The statute obligates employers (with 4 or more employees) to issue an information sheet on sexual harassment. It also requires larger employers (with 50 or more employees) to provide sexual harassment training for all employees and supervisors, making Delaware the fifth state to statutorily mandate sexual harassment training. The Delaware law will become effective on January 1, 2019.

Delaware Compensation History Ban: Another State Making A Pronouncement About Pay Equity

With another Labor Day approaching, employers are once again thinking about the many tasks that need to be completed before year end. Let’s add one more – remembering to add Delaware to the list of jurisdictions prohibiting employers from asking applicants’ compensation history pre-offer. The synopsis of the law states that when an employer affirmatively asks about pay history, it perpetuates gender disparities from one job to another.

Delaware: The Latest State to Amend its Data Breach Notification Law

Delaware joins the growing number of states that recently amended their data breach notification law. On August 17th, Delaware amended its data breach notification law with House Bill 180, the first significant change since 2005, effective 240 days after enactment (on or about April 14, 2018).

Delaware Follows Suit, Joins Number of Jurisdictions Banning Salary History Inquiries

On June 14, 2017, Delaware’s governor signed a measure enacting a pay history inquiry ban similar to those enacted recently in Massachusetts, New York City, Philadelphia, and Puerto Rico. Specifically, Title 19 of the Delaware Code, relating to unlawful employment practices, has been amended to now make it unlawful to (1) screen applicants based on their compensation histories, including by requiring that an applicant’s prior compensation satisfy minimum or maximum criteria; or (2) seek the compensation history of an applicant from the applicant or a current or former employer.
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