Confidentiality Agreements

News & Analysis as of

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Proposes Elimination of Most Non-Compete Agreements and Adoption of Uniform Trade Secrets Act

What you need to know: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick recently proposed legislative reform that would abolish non-compete agreements made in the technology and life sciences sectors, as well as other, currently...more

Massachusetts Governor Wants to Ban Non-Compete Agreements and Enact the Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick, recently announced a bill—An Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity—that would provide workforce training opportunities and promote economic development incentives across the...more

Maintaining Privilege With Consultants - Practical Guide

Previously, we talked about the legal standards applied to claims of attorney-client privilege between a company's general counsel and outside consultants. Now, let's talk about practical tips for maintaining that...more

OSC Credit for Cooperation - Continued Uncertainty for Market Participants with Respect to Privilege

On March 13, 2014, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) released its revised Credit for Cooperation Program via OSC Staff Notice 15–702. As pointed out in our recent client update (OSC Adopts New Initiatives to Strengthen...more

Daughter’s Facebook Post Leads to Costly Breach by Father of a Confidentiality Clause in His Settlement Agreement With Former...

A recent decision by a Florida appeals court, Gulliver Schools, Inc. v. Snay, stands as a stark reminder of the perils of trying to maintain confidentiality in the age of social media where news can travel faster than the...more

Fifth Circuit Finds Confidentiality Provision Violates NLRA

Executive Summary: The Fifth Circuit recently found that a confidentiality agreement prohibiting disclosure of "financial" and "personnel information" was unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Employers who...more

FERC Provides Important Guidance Regarding Confidentiality Agreements and “Duty to Support” Clauses

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post describing a FERC order that, for the first time ever, would have allowed an interstate oil pipeline to grant preferential rates and capacity rights to shippers making volume commitments through...more

Daughter Posts Settlement on Facebook – Employer Dislikes – Dad in Hot Water

Social media in general, and Facebook in particular, seems to have become so ingrained in modern existence that while it is potentially laughable, it is nonetheless true that we can seriously live by the tenet “If it’s not on...more

Can You Keep a Secret? Confidentiality Clauses in Settlement Agreements Are For Real

If a party to a confidential settlement agreement blabs about the settlement, could the party lose some of the benefits of the settlement? A recent Florida appellate decision is a good reminder to think carefully about the...more

New Reports Suggest the SEC is Cracking Down on Confidentiality Agreements

In our practice as counsel for SEC whistleblowers, one of the troubling practices we frequently see on the part of companies is the use of confidentiality agreements that purport to prevent employees or former employees from...more

CFTC Staff Issues Best Practices for Customer Information Safeguards

The CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight issued a Staff Advisory outlining recommended best practices for covered financial institutions to comply with Title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999...more

Did You Know...An $80,000 Facebook Post Costs $80,000

When does a confidentiality provision in a settlement agreement mean what it says? What if you tell your children about your confidential settlement and they post about it on Facebook? Well, here is what just might happen...more

Act Now Advisory: As Defendant, Obama Administration Takes Narrower View of Whistleblower Protections Than as Enforcer - Will This...

Employers attempting to manage corporate compliance programs while balancing privacy concerns and whistleblower protections might find a certain irony, perhaps empathy, in the Obama administration's recent petition for U.S....more

Loose Lips Sink Former Employee’s Ship

Confidentiality clauses are a standard provision in most agreements settling an employment dispute. Last week, a former preparatory school administrator learned the hard way that these provisions matter to employers and that...more

EEOC Alleges that Standard Severance Agreement Language Violated Title VII

Certain standard provisions contained in separation agreements commonly used by employers violate federal law, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). Specifically, EEOC in a suit filed in Illinois...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - February 2014

A California federal court in Enki Corporation v. Freedman held that a former employee’s access of the employer’s computer systems through his log-in credentials did not amount to unlawful hacking under either the Computer...more

State Court Holds Employers Must Protect Trade Secrets From Independent Contractors

A recent Massachusetts Superior Court decision held that employers risk losing trade secrets and confidential information if they do not protect that information from independent contractors. The court held that employers who...more

2014 Labor And Employment Law Checklist

Each year, LP’s Labor & Employment Practice Group is pleased to provide a short checklist of steps that all companies should consider taking to measure their readiness for the coming year. We hope that you find this 2014...more

Take 5 Newsletter: An Employer's "Top 5" Action Items for 2014

It's December, and human resources professionals and law departments are reflecting on the issues addressed in 2013 and giving thanks for incident-free holiday parties. But the big question is this: What issues should get...more

Delaware Federal Court Discusses the Duty to Negotiate

Since SIGA Technologies Inc. v. PharmAthene Inc. (Del. 2013), the duty to negotiate in good faith is well recognized in Delaware, but it is not as clear when exactly that duty arises. On December 2, 2013, in Osco Motors...more

Willful Blindness on Trade Secrets: Employers Could Pay a Heavy Price

A recent trial experience provided an extraordinary lesson on the significant legal exposure employers face when hiring away employees from a competitor. I recently completed a jury trial in which my client obtained a $22.7...more

Moving Right Along: The Office of Whistleblower Issues Its 2013 Annual Report

The SEC released its Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Report (the “Report”) to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program on November 15, 2013. The Report analyzes the tips received over the last twelve months by the SEC’s...more

Seek Advice In Drafting Trade Secrets And Confidentiality Agreements

In an article recently posted at mondaq.com, Richard Stobbe provides several excellent examples of why employers should consult with their counsel when drafting trade secrets and confidentiality agreements, instead of copying...more

Be Careful – Complying with Separation Agreements and Personnel File Issues

Parties often include in separation agreements a confidentiality provision, along with a provision indicating that the agreement is not to be included in the soon-to be former employee’s personnel file. Sometimes, such...more

HALLOWEEN EDITION: Cookie Maker Gets Early Treat When Court Protects Halloween Cookie Recipe As A Trade Secret

In September 1995, Philadelphia-area cookie manufacturer Sweetzel, Inc. got an early Halloween treat when the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that the company’s cookie recipes and customer...more

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