A non-disclosure agreement that you sign will limit what you can say about the company or client you’re working for. There are times when it’s appropriate to agree to one of these, such as if you want to work for a client with research they don’t want exposed to competitors.
Before you agree to sign a non-disclosure agreement, though, you do need to make sure that you understand what you’re signing. You are signing away some of your rights when you accept the terms of this agreement, so be clear on it beforehand.
Nondisclosure agreements range in their strictness
Some non-disclosure agreements are less firm or restrictive than others. For example, one might limit you from saying you work with a company at all. Another may say that you can put that you worked for the company but may not disclose any information learned from it.
On the whole, an NDA is introduced to protect the client’s sensitive or valuable information, so it is designed in a way that will do that.
All non-disclosure agreements need to be straightforward enough to be understood by both parties. They should have the start and termination dates of the agreement, the employee’s obligations and what happens if that NDA is breached.
For example, you could be fired from a job if you disclose details about working for an employer when you were not supposed to. Another NDA may have fines as penalties for disclosing details about the company.
The contract should also go over what information the NDA covers. Anything that is public knowledge generally won’t be able to fall under the NDA.
What happens if you break an NDA?
What happens next will depend on the NDA and how it was broken. If you talk about things you are not supposed to and disclose that you work for someone when you shouldn’t, you could face consequences. An employer may be able to sue you for any damages they suffer as a result of you discussing the company and its private information with others, unless the NDA was invalid or voided for some reason.