Confidentiality Agreements Non-Disclosure Agreement

News & Analysis as of

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

The US Securities and Exchange Commission recently caused shockwaves when it announced its first enforcement action against a company for using an allegedly improper confidentiality agreement during internal investigations....more

SEC Launches Investigation into Employment Contracts that Prevent Whistleblowing

A February 25 article in the Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will begin investigating the kinds of agreements that certain companies make with their employees. The article...more

Carefully Draft NDAs to Avoid Whistleblower Concerns

In light of the SEC’s first enforcement action against a company for impeding whistleblower activity in violation of Rule 21F-17, employers may wish to consider clarifying in their agreements, policies and practices that...more

SEC Announces Action Against Company for Using Confidentiality Agreements That Allegedly Could Deter Whistleblowers

As we discussed in a post last month, the SEC has been closely scrutinizing whether companies may be using non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements that could discourage employees from acting as whistleblowers and...more

“We have an NDA, what do you mean our trade secrets are no longer protected?”

As we all know, companies enter into non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements in the normal course of business to protect their trade secrets and other confidential information. In addition, many technology and commercial...more

SEC Investigating Companies’ Employment Contracts That Restrict Whistleblowing

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may soon be investigating the agreements companies make with their employees. According to a February 25, 2015 Wall Street Journal report, the SEC has sent requests to several...more

SEC Sweep on NDAs Restricting Whistleblowers

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the SEC is in the midst of a sweep to crack down on companies’ use of NDAs or employment agreements that might impede whistleblower reporting in violation of Dodd-Frank...more

STOP, THIEF! - How to Keep Your “Secret Sauce” In-House, When an Employee Is Lured to Greener Pastures

No matter how collegial and successful a workplace you have created for your employees, attrition is an inevitable fact of life in business, and in government contracting in particular. ...more

SEC Targeting Broad Employee Confidentiality Clauses

February 27, 2015 Authors: Gregory Keating and Harry Jones The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently contacted a number of companies seeking every confidentiality agreement, nondisclosure agreement, settlement...more

Confidentiality Agreements Not Enforceable in Absence of Reasonable Efforts to Preserve Confidentiality

nClosures Inc. v. Block and Company, Inc. - Applying Illinois law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reminded prospective business partners that non-disclosure agreements will not be effective by...more

Enforceability of Confidentiality Agreements – Confidential Information Must Be “Confidential”

For many companies, entering into confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements is common practice when sharing confidential or proprietary information with third parties. However, as the recent case nClosures, Inc. v. Block...more

FINRA: Firms Should Not Restrict Whistleblower Rights

Why it matters - In a new regulatory notice, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reminded regulated firms not to prohibit the exercise of whistleblower rights in settlement agreements with employees and...more

Crackdown on Employer NDAs Without Whistleblower Protections

An October 27 letter from Rep. Maxine Waters and seven other House Democrats (from the Financial Services & Oversight Committee) asked the SEC to double down on scrutiny of employer confidentiality agreements that might...more

The parade of NDAs

Non-disclosure agreements have been a regular part of my practice because so many of my clients have technology at the core of their businesses. Lately, however, it seems like I’ve been dealing almost daily with clients who...more

When the Wealthy Divorce: Confidentiality

Certainly not every high profile celebrity-type divorce is handled in a confidential manner, as evidenced by the public divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt. However, by and large, high profile divorces are handled quickly and...more

Muzzling Whistleblowers: When Confidentiality Agreements Go Too Far

Confidentiality agreements can be useful to a company. For example, they can ensure that employees are aware of their company’s valuable trade secrets and can establish requirements to safeguard those assets. But when do...more

Top Ten Tips for the Workplace

Every now and then, it’s worth it for even the most seasoned HR professional to receive a reminder about best practices in the workplace. Ensuring compliance with our Top Ten Tips list below, will help to keep your workplace...more

Watchdogs Petition SEC to Strengthen Prohibitions Against Impeding Complaints to SEC

On July 18, 2014, a coalition of plaintiff-side lawyers and government watchdog groups proposed ways to strengthen the SEC whistleblower program in two petitions filed with the SEC. The groups urged the SEC to update Rule...more

Leave My Employees Alone! You Promised You Wouldn’t Hire/Solicit Them

With the antitrust class action against Google, Apple, Intel and other Silicon Valley heavyweights nearly in the books ($300 million plus in settlements and millions more in defense fees later), it is time once again to ask...more

The Fact and Fiction of Non-Disclosure Agreements

Entrepreneurs looking for angel or venture funding, or a strategic partnership, rely on Non-Disclosure Agreements, or NDAs, to protect their trade secrets, shield employees from poaching by the other parties, and keep...more

Protecting Your Start-Up’s Core Assets

In my series of posts with advice for start-ups, I think this is the most important one. It is about protecting the heart of your business, i.e. those assets that form its foundation, drive its prospects and distinguish it...more

2014 Public Company M&A: a short, practical primer

In this new edition of the popular Public Company M&A Primer, originally published in 2013, Ed Batts covers recent changes in the M&A process for public companies. Are you considering bidding for a public company? Has...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

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

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

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