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Should You Require Your Employees to Sign a Confidentiality Agreement?

Charles Internicola

by Charles Internicola
National Business and Franchise Lawyer

Date: 01/31/2014 | Category: Confidentiality | No comments

Can Confidentiality Agreements Be Enforced Against Employees?

They can‚ but you need the right perspective.

In life and business no one ever gets something for nothing and the same is true when it comes time to implementation and enforceability of a non-compete.

What do I mean? well: (1) organizationally you need to put some time into implementing procedures to protect your confidential information (i.e.‚ restrict employee access‚ segregate confidential data from non-confidential data‚ identify data as confidential and ensure that the data you claim to be confidential is truely entitled to protection); and (2) you need to "give something" of value to the person that you are restricting. 

So lets talk about the second part of the equasion which is "giving something of value" and how does this apply to employees? When dealing with employees as long as you follow step "1" and protect and treat your confidential data properly then step "2" should be al about structuring a fair and balanced non-compete agreement. The "value" you will be giving the employee is his or her initial employment (i.e.‚ maintaining confidentiality is a prerequisite for the job) or‚ if need be‚ to continue the employees employment.

Far Too Many Agreements Are Overreaching and Unenforceable

Most employer confidentiality agreements are generic‚ overbroad and overreaching. So naturally they become unenforceable. When structuring your agreements you need to be specific and honest. Avoid the generic and specifically identify the confidential information that the employee will have access to. Also be specific as to what they can and cannot do with that data.

Confidentiality agreements are to often prepared and utilized as an afterthought and soing so is a mistake. In fact‚ sometimes you may be better off with no confidentiality agreement when compared to a poorly drafted generic agreement.

Learn More

Learn more about the enforceability of non-compate and confidentiality agreement – Click Here for the article that discusses specific non-compete and confidentiality senarios.

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