Confidentiality Agreements

News & Analysis as of

RIGHT IN THE BREADBASKET: Lessons From Early Cases at the Intersection of Noncompetes and the DTSA

As many TSW readers are aware, 2016 has been a big year for trade secret law, with both the United States and the European Union expanding trade secrets protections and increasing the uniformity of their laws. But as good as...more

Five Biggest Surprises In The Arbitration Process (Blogiversary Listicle #4)

I am celebrating five years of blogging by publishing one “listicle” per day this week. Monday, the topic was the five biggest surprises in arbitration law; Tuesday it was the five states most hostile to arbitration;...more

Time to Review Your Severance Agreements

In August 2016, the SEC issued cease-and-desist orders against two different companies for using severance agreements which required exiting employees to waive their ability to obtain monetary awards under the SEC’s...more

Financial Services Weekly News - August 2016 #4

Editor's Note - Friend the Fed! As is the case every August, our federal government and regulators are hard at work, laser focused on the important issues of the day. In this regard, on August 18, the Federal Reserve...more

Update: Another SEC Enforcement Action on Whistleblower Waivers and Releases

Summary - Earlier this month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its second significant enforcement action against an employer based on confidentiality and release provisions that the SEC asserts...more

SEC Targets Employment Agreements Requiring Waiver of Whistleblower Awards

The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower continues to examine employee severance, settlement and confidentiality agreements for language that might chill reporting of securities violations to the SEC and other regulators. The...more

Public Companies to Revise Employee Confidentiality and Severance Provisions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued two Cease and Desist Orders that dramatically change the landscape for employee contractual confidentiality provisions, as well as for employee waiver and release...more

Standard Severance Agreements May Need to Be Revised

Many employers offer severance agreements to departing employees which, at least in part, are designed to protect the employer from disclosures of confidential information and from any future claims or recovery by the...more

Two New SEC Orders Further Limit Employers' Ability to Secure Employee Releases and the Breadth of Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued two orders challenging employee confidentiality agreements and indicating that companies must not condition employees’ receipt of severance payments and other...more

Financial Services Weekly News - August 2016 #3

Editor's Note - MetLife Fights On. MetLife continued to fight its designation as a nonbank systemically important financial institution (SIFI) this week as the insurer filed its reply brief in the Financial Stability...more

SEC Continues To Scrutinize Separation Agreements

On August 16, 2016, the SEC announced that Health Net Inc. (Company) agreed to pay a $340,000 penalty to settle charges that it violated Rule 21F-17 by using severance agreements that allegedly prohibited its employees from...more

Redux - federal agencies attack employment agreements, and what you can do about it: 8 steps to consider

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” - Reading advance sheets often brings the closing line from The Great Gatsby to mind.  Our alert from April 2015 is being rerun in full...more

SEC Continues to Target Employer Agreements Restricting Whistleblower Rights

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”) recently announced the settlement of two cease-and-desist proceedings against employers alleged to have unlawfully restricted employees’ rights to engage...more

FEATURE: Proper Use of Confidential Information Provisions

One of the significant pitfalls businesses encounter is the misuse of confidentiality provisions in company policies and employment agreements. Nearly all employers include restrictive covenants prohibiting the use or...more

SEC Enforcement Expands Scope of Prohibited Provisions in Employment-Related Agreements

Summary - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its second significant enforcement action against an employer based on confidentiality and release provisions that the SEC asserts will discourage...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds NLRB Position on Illegal Handbook Policies

Over the past several years, the National Labor Relations Board has repeatedly declared standard employee handbook policies illegal because it considered them to violate employees’ rights to engage in protected concerted...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The D.C. Circuit handed down the first circuit court decision ruling on the Appointments Clause question concerning the retention of SEC ALJs. The court concluded that there was no violation of the Clause....more

SEC Penalizes Company For Severance Language Purportedly Impeding Complaints

On August 10, 2016, the SEC announced that BlueLinx Holdings Inc. (Company) is settling charges that it violated Rule 21F-17 by requiring outgoing employees to waive whistleblower bounty awards in connection with severance...more

Severance Agreements Violate SEC Whistleblower Provisions

The SEC has a robust whistleblower program which is considered an important adjunct to its enforcement efforts. To that end the Commission has participated in whistleblower cases as an amicus and brought actions regarding...more

SEC Bounty Hunters Take Heart: SEC Fines Company $265,000 For Using Severance Agreements That Provided a Waiver of Any Monetary...

Today, the SEC announced that an Atlanta-based company, BlueLinx Holdings, is settling charges that its severance agreements contained provisions that it in its view might impede employees from communicating directly with the...more

Blog: SEC Whistleblower Office charges that prospective waiver of whistleblower award in severance agreements violated securities...

In a new whistleblower protection case, the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower settled charges against BlueLinx Holdings, Inc. that the company’s severance agreements violated the securities laws. The agreements included...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds NLRB Finding that Employment Agreement’s Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Provisions Violated the NLRA

Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently denied Quicken Loans, Inc.’s petition for review of an NLRB decision finding that confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions in the company’s...more

Inappropriate Invention Assignments, Confidentiality and non-compete Agreements - Common Small Business Owner Mistakes

Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later is a series of short tips on common legal mistakes small business owners make. Tip # 3 - Ensure employees, especially key employees, enter the appropriate invention assignment,...more

Product derived indirectly from earlier misuse of confidential information – what damages are available?

When considering damages for breach of confidence, there is a distinction between products which embody confidential information and those which merely derive from earlier misuse of information. The Court of Appeal in MVF 3...more

Ninth Circuit Interprets “Without Authorization” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

When we last left David Nosal, he had escaped liability under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after convincing some of his former colleagues at executive search firm Korn/Ferry to use their log-in credentials to download...more

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