Employment Contracts, Partnerships & Non-Compete Agreements

Confidentiality & Non-disclosure Agreements

Outten & Golden attorneys know the ins and outs of the Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements that many employees enter into with their employers during the course of negotiating an employment agreement, during employment, and/or as part of a separation or severance agreement. These agreements limit how employees may use employers’ information. Our attorneys can help employees avoid harsh penalties for violating these agreements by addressing potential problems early, for instance by negotiating adjustments in agreements containing confidentiality or non-disclosure provisions to reduce onerous confidentiality burdens on employees.

We defend employees against claims for disclosure of confidential information, which are often accompanied by claims that the employee violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). We can help employees forensically preserve personal electronic devices and media, including laptop computers, to prove that there was no unlawful disclosure.

Penalties for unlawfully disclosing confidential information can be severe, such as monetary damages and/or injunctions against using the information. Such penalties, along with the cost of litigation, can harm an employee in numerous ways, such as preventing the employee from starting a business, working for another company, or damaging the employee's reputation. Even employees who have not signed confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements may have a duty not to disclose or use their employers’ confidential information. Our lawyers can help employees navigate these complicated issues.

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California judge rules Google’s confidentiality agreements break labor law

The Washington Post

A California judge ruled this week that the confidentiality agreements Google requires its employees to sign are too broad and break the state’s labor laws, a decision that could make it easier for workers at famously secret Big Tech firms to speak openly about their companies.

A Google employee identified as John Doe argued that the broad nondisclosure agreement the company asked him to sign barred him from speaking about his job to other potential employers,...

Inside Silicon Valley's 'brotopia' and the lawyers fighting rife sexual harassment claims

telegraph.co.uk—Natasha Bernal Joseph Archer

Silicon Valley is still reeling from Chang’s book, which was published earlier this year, in which she claims to expose the tech industry’s “secretive, orgiastic dark side”. “From drug-fuelled orgies to the freewheeling sex lives pursued by men in tech - from the elite down to the rank and file - have consequences for how business gets done in Silicon Valley,” she writes.

Bipartisan Senate bill aims to stop accused harassers from using NDAs to silence victims

Salon.com—Amanda Marcotte

Outten & Golden LLP partner Juno Turner is quoted in this article about a new bill, proposed by two female senators of different parties, Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, called the EMPOWER Act (Ending the Monopoly of Power Over Workplace Harassment through Education and Reporting), that would seriously curtail the ability of sexual harassers to use NDAs to shield themselves from consequences.