A non-disclosure agreement is a common type of restricting clause that frequently appears in employment contracts. Employers will include confidentiality agreements in contracts to prevent employees from sharing confidential information that could hurt the business. A confidentiality agreement is commonly called a non-disclosure agreement because they protect proprietary and confidential business information from being disclosed.

Discuss Your Confidentiality Agreement Case With an Experienced Attorney

Confidentiality agreements benefit employers, but they can also hurt employees unfairly. The penalties for disclosing confidential information in violation of a confidentiality agreement can be severe. If you are involved in a dispute regarding a confidentiality agreement you signed as an employee, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Contact the skilled NYC employment lawyers at Lipsky Lowe LLP today to discuss your case and learn more about your rights. 

What Is a Confidentiality Agreement?

At Lipsky Lowe LLP, our employment attorneys have an in-depth understanding of confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements. We have represented many employees who have signed confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements with their employers while negotiating an employment agreement. In some cases, employers will ask an employee to sign a confidentiality agreement after they’ve already been hired or as part of a separation or severance agreement. These types of agreements limit how employees can use the information they’ve learned while working for their employer.

We Defend NYC Employees Accused of Disclosure of Confidential Information

Not all confidentiality agreements are written in a way that is fair for the employer and the employee. Many confidentiality agreements are overly restrictive for the employee who signs the agreement. At Lipsky Lowe LLP, we have helped many New York city employees avoid harsh penalties for violating confidentiality agreements. If you are an employee who has been charged with violating the confidentiality agreement, one of the best things you can do is seek legal representation early on in the process.

The sooner you reach out to an employment attorney, the sooner your attorney can help you address potential problems early on. We may be able to help you negotiate adjustments in the confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure provisions. Taking the time to reach out to an employment attorney to review the contract before you sign it can save you a significant amount of stress and money down the road. We will identify red flags and negotiate a more fair confidentiality agreement that will protect your rights.

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)

Suppose you are being accused of disclosing confidential information in violation of a confidentiality agreement. In that case, you may also be facing claims that you have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). This act makes it a crime for a person to intentionally access a computer without the authority to access the computer, obtain data from the computer, and cause a loss of at least $5,000 during a one-year time frame. 

If an employer suspects that an employee has been sharing confidential information, they may report the employee to violate the CFAA. The experienced attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP can help you preserve personal electronic media and devices, including your laptop computer, to prove that there has been no unlawful disclosure. 

The Penalties for Violating Confidentiality Agreements

The penalties for violating a confidentiality agreement can be severe. An employee accused of violating confidentiality may face monetary damages and/or an injunction against using the confidential information. Specifically, those who breach confidentiality agreements may face fines, loss of employment, mandatory compensation for monetary damages, and be enjoined from further use of the company’s confidential information.

These significant penalties, along with the cost of litigation, can harm an employee in several different ways. Being involved in litigation over an alleged breach of confidentiality can prevent an employee from starting a business or working for another employer. Additionally, litigation may damage the employee’s reputation personally and professionally. 

Remember, even employees who have not signed a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement may have a legal duty not to disclose or use their employer’s confidential information. If you face any of these challenges, one of our employment attorneys can help you navigate these complicated issues while protecting your rights.

Challenging Confidentiality Agreements in New York City

If you signed a confidentiality agreement, you might be concerned that it’s too late for you to try to get out of it. We recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our employment attorneys to review the confidentiality agreement to determine whether it’s legally enforceable. In New York, courts typically lean towards protecting an individual’s employment prospects and ability to make a living instead of enforcing an overly restrictive confidentiality agreement that will keep the employee silent. Confidentiality agreements can be enforceable in New York, but it’s more challenging for employers to enforce them.

Many companies use boilerplate confidentiality contracts that are not tailored to their unique business and employees. These contracts may have overly broad provisions. An employee can challenge a confidentiality agreement, claiming that it is unenforceable because it is far too broad. In these cases, judges have the authority to modify certain parts of the confidential agreement, reject or strike parts of the agreement, or reject the entire agreement. Additionally, the court may find that the agreement is unconscionable because the employee had no power to bargain with the employer regarding the contract.

Contact an NYC Confidentiality Agreement Attorney Today

Are you considering signing a confidentiality agreement as part of your employment? Have you been accused of violating a confidentiality agreement? If so, you need an experienced New York City employment attorney. At Lipsky Lowe LLP, our employment attorneys have a proven track record of successfully representing clients in a wide range of matters related to confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements. Contact our New York City employment law firm today to discuss your case with a skilled attorney.