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Johnson v. Ultravolt, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

February 10, 2015

JAY JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
ULTRAVOLT, INC., Defendant.

Appearances, Law Offices of Neil H. Greenberg & Associates, P.C., Justin M. Reilly, Esq., Attorneys for Plaintiff, Westbury, New York.

Zeichner Ellman & Krause LLP, Robert Guttman, Esq. Phillip S. Rosen, Esq., Attorneys for Defendant, New York, New York

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

DENIS R. HURLEY, District Judge.

Plaintiff Jay Johnson ("plaintiff" or "Johnson") commenced this action alleging that defendant Ultravolt, Inc. ("defendant" or "Ultravolt") violated the anti-retaliation provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3), and the New York Labor Law § 215(a)(iii) by filing a separate state court action against him, Ultravolt, Inc. v. Johnson, Index No. 13077/13 (Sup.Ct., Suffolk County). Currently before the Court is defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. For the reasons set forth below, defendant's motion is granted.

FACTS

The following facts are undisputed, unless otherwise noted:

Plaintiff was hired as a sales application engineer by Ultravolt on or about February 22, 2010. In connection with his employment, Johnson signed a non-disclosure agreement ("NDA"). The NDA provided in pertinent part:

As defined in this agreement "Confidential Information" shall mean any information, including, but not limited to, trade secrets, business processes, manufacturing processes, business plans, inventions, techniques, data of any kind, drawings, customer lists, financial statements, sales data, proprietary business information of any sort, research or development projects or results, tests, and/or any non-public information which concerns the business, operations, ideas, or plans of a party to this Agreement conveyed to the other party by any format or means including, but not limited to, written, typed, magnetic, or orally transmitted.
....
The confidential information which is disclosed to the UNDERSIGNED shall remain the exclusive property of [UltraVolt]. Any products, processes, know-how, inventions, information or data developed by the UNDERSIGNED during the term of this agreement and for a period of six months thereafter shall also be treated as confidential information.
In consideration of receiving the confidential information, the UNDERSIGNED agrees, by its signature below, that it shall not use any of the confidential information for any purpose other than the purposes described above, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by [UltraVolt], and shall maintain that information with the same degree of care that the UNDERSIGNED employs with respect of it own proprietary information which it desires to keep confidential. The UNDERSIGNED will treat the confidential information with such care and will not disclose it to others.
The obligation of confidentiality shall survive termination of the Agreement....
Upon termination of this agreement for any reason, the UNDERSIGNED shall return to [UltraVolt] all confidential information, including documents and materials received from [UltraVolt] or generated by the UNDERSIGNED....

(Ex. 1 to Pawluk Declar. (DE 22-11).) Plaintiff left Ultravolt on or about December 16, 2011. He started a new job at Richardson RFPD on December 19, 2011, the following Monday. In an email dated December 23, 2011 to his former immediate superior, Johnson wrote "all of my notes were entered into the ACT Database as required. I do not have any customer information." (Ex. 2 to Pawluk Declar. (DE 22-12).) Johnson contends that he was providing a response to a question about specific customers and that ...


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