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non disclosure covenants

In the employment context, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or confidentiality agreement is made between an employer and employee where the employee agrees not to disclose any of the employer’s confidential information.  The agreement is made to safeguard the employer’s secrets after an employee has quit or been fired.  Obviously, an employer will fire an employee who discloses confidential information.  In general, however, absent an agreement on disclosure, an employer has no authority to stop an former employee from making public statments, whether confidential or not.

It is important to keep in mind that these agreements are a matter of State law.  Each State will have its own standard for deciding when and whether these types of agreements are permitted.  The State may also have common law regarding an employee’s duty to an employer, both during and after his or her employment.

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