If your employer requires you to sign a confidentiality agreement, you may wonder why and what it means. Before you sign it, make sure you understand the effect of the agreement.
What Is a Confidentiality Agreement?
Your employer wants to protect its confidential information that other competing companies or the public could use against it. It is concerned that current employees may inadvertently share the information, or that former employees will take information with them when they leave. To protect the company, your employer wants you to sign an agreement that acknowledges the confidentiality of certain information and explains how you can and cannot use it.
What Is the Effect of a Confidentiality Agreement?
When you sign a confidentiality agreement, you agree to keep information confidential and not to use it for non-work purposes. Depending on the language of your employer's confidentiality agreement, you may need to return all work-related documents when you leave the job or never take any confidential information home.
Confidential information should be defined in the agreement your employer gives you. It could include a wide variety of data, including:
- Company emails
- Lists of customers
- Customer contact information
- Internal documentation of processes or procedures
- The employee handbook
- Financial documents
If you share any information defined as confidential in the agreement, your employer could take action to enforce the agreement. This could include a lawsuit under some circumstances. As a result, you should take signing a confidentiality agreement very seriously. If you work with sensitive information or in a senior capacity in the company, you should have a lawyer review it before you sign it.
Should You Always Sign a Confidentiality Agreement If Requested?
In most cases, employers make signing these agreements a condition of employment so you cannot take the job without signing the agreement. If, however, the agreement is vague or seems overreaching, you could ask your employer about making changes to it to make the terms clear. Speak to a lawyer if you are not sure.
To find out more about confidentiality agreements, visit Gonsalves-Sabola Chambers online or call the office at +1 242 326 6400.
The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon the information contained in this website. This website is designed for general information purposes only and the information provided should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.