Confidentiality Agreements

News & Analysis as of

SEC Takes Issue with Employee Confidentiality Obligations and Waivers of Monetary Awards

The Securities and Exchange Commission's (the "SEC" or "Commission") Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") issued a risk alert on October 24, 2016, announcing that it will be reviewing registrants'...more

The NLRB’s Challenge To Bridgewater’s Confidentiality Clauses: Its Significance For Employers

The NLRB’s new focus on non-union employment has been well–chronicled here. Employment contract provisions thought to be governed only by state contract law principles are now subject to the federal National Labor Relations...more

Employers Beware: SEC Continues Offensive on Employment Agreements That Inhibit Whistleblowers

Risk Alert (literally)! Standard provisions in employment agreements, severance agreements and policies may run afoul of the SEC’s whistleblower regulations. In the wake of several highly publicized enforcement actions by the...more

Blog: Treatment of M&A Non-solicits and Employee Comp Diligence Under New Antitrust Guidelines

Last month, the FTC and DOJ issued a set of antitrust guidelines addressing certain employment and compensation practices that are most likely to occur in the high-tech and healthcare industries where highly-skilled employees...more

Massachusetts Appeals Court Upholds Confidentiality of Mediation and Highlights the Art of Dealing with Distress

The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently issued an opinion in ZVI Construction Co. v. Levy, et al., 90 Mass. App. Ct. 412 (2016) refusing to override the terms of a written confidentiality agreement entered into between...more

2016 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List (Part 1) Executive Compensation

As 2016 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. Like last year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate Employee Benefits Updates. Part 1 of...more

The NLRB Continues To Go After Non-Union Employers in Industries it Has Historically Not Targeted

Seyfarth Summary: The relevance of the National Labor Relations Act to industries and business sectors that have not traditionally had to deal with its implications – such as hedge funds. The New York Times recently...more

SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Issues Risk Alert on Whistleblower Rule Compliance

On October 24, Staff in the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (the “Staff”) issued a National Exam Program Risk Alert announcing that it is examining registered investment advisers and registered...more

Just Between Us: Buyer of Rothko Painting Sued for Breach of Confidentiality

Confidentiality provisions are not a new or novel inclusion in agreements for the sale of assets, let alone the sale of artwork. However, the extremely drawn out case of Hoffman v. L&M Arts, et al, presents a rather odd view...more

Texas Court Holds Compliance Auditor Not Liable to Employer for Alleged Use of Confidential Information in FCA Suit Against...

A Texas appellate court recently affirmed a judgment against a healthcare consulting firm that claimed that its former employee had misappropriated its confidential information to use in a False Claims Act (“FCA”) lawsuit...more

NLRB Issues Numerous Decisions Against Employers as Hirozawa's Term Expires

In the midst of a heated presidential election cycle, employers are following recent decisions of the National Labor Relations Board closely. Before losing its three-member Democratic majority at the expiration of Board...more

SEC Exams Looking for Whistleblower Violations

SEC staff in the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations are examining compliance with key whistleblower provisions arising out of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The staff is...more

HK's Bill Ross Gives Update From The State Bar Business Law Section's Corporations Committee -- SEC Continues Actions Against...

In separate actions on August 10, 2016 and August 16, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) has again brought enforcement actions against companies for having confidentiality provisions in their...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

For a start-up looking to unseat Bloomberg as the go-to insider source for financial news [other than this blog, of course], there’s a surefire way to gain some instant credibility: hire one of Bloomberg’s former top execs,...more

Stinson Leonard Street's Emerging Trends Newsletter - Q3

We are thrilled to bring you the third installment of Stinson Leonard Street's Emerging Trends newsletter. We are proud of the depth and breadth of experience and knowledge across our firm's 13 offices nationwide and are...more

We Meant What We Said: Pa. Supreme Court Issues Latest Decision in Robinson Township

On September 28, 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its latest decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth. Link to decision HA Doc. 241394 This latest iteration of Robinson Township (referred to by the Court as...more

OSHA Increases Scrutiny of Whistleblower Settlement Agreements

Following the SEC’s lead, OSHA recently announced new guidelines that it will consider when deciding whether to approve settlement agreements reached during OSHA investigations of whistleblower claims....more

OSHA Addresses Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Releases

We have written about SEC enforcement actions related to severance and confidentiality agreements that restrict reporting matters to the SEC. OSHA has also issued guidance regarding settlement agreements with whistleblowers...more

Ten Common Intellectual Property Mistakes

Mistake No. 1 - Not Obtaining an Obligation to Assign Inventions From Employees and Contractor - Example: Employee/contractor agreements do not: (a) assign rights to you in inventions made for you; (b) require the...more

NLRB Signs Off On Narrow Confidentiality Provision for Employee Reinstatement Agreements

In the recent case of S. Freeman & Sons, Inc., the National Labor Relations Board confronted the question of “whether an employer can require an employee to keep confidential the terms of a settlement agreement in exchange...more

OSHA Joins the SEC in Attacking Confidentiality and Other Provisions in Private Settlement Agreements

On September 15, 2016, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released new policy guidelines for its review of private settlement agreements presented to the agency for approval in whistleblowing...more

SEC Takes Aim at Anti-Whistleblower Employment Agreements

On Aug. 15, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued its second fine in six days to an employer for drafting severance agreements that restricted former employees from collecting awards as whistleblowers. The fines...more

CFTC Proposes Rules to Align with SEC Whistleblower Program

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) proposed amendments last month to the regulations governing its whistleblower bounty program. A number of the changes are aimed at more closely aligning the CFTC’s...more

SEC Whistleblower Enforcement Actions Related to Severance Agreements

On August 30, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”) reaffirmed its commitment to its whistleblower program by issuing the second largest award in its five-year history. While admittedly...more

Commodity Whistleblowers May Hit the Jackpot: Enhanced Bounty Rules in the Works

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) is proposing amendments to its Dodd-Frank whistleblower regulations to bring them more in line with the SEC’s whistleblower bounty program. This is perhaps not surprising...more

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