What Happens If An Employee Breaks An NDA?
An NDA, better known as a non-disclosure agreement, is one of the most common documents used in the business world. If you as an employee choose to sign an NDA, doing so means you are agreeing to not publicly disclose various types of information about your employer, other individuals, or perhaps your company’s products or services. While it is a relatively standard document, it is also one that is considered to be legally binding in almost all situations. Thus, if you break your NDA, here are some consequences you can expect.
Termination of Your Employment
If you break your NDA with your employer, don’t expect to be keeping your job for much longer. More than likely, if you signed your NDA as a condition of your employment, you will be terminated from your job as quickly as possible.
Along with being terminated from your job, your employer will also probably try to impose monetary fines on you for your NDA violation. Since this will usually be spelled out in the NDA, make sure you take the time to read it thoroughly before you sign on the dotted line. By doing so, you’ll know exactly how much of a fine you can expect to be levied against you should you break the agreement.
Breach of Contract Lawsuit
One of the most serious actions that can take place against you if you break your NDA, your employer could initiate business litigation that results in you being hit with a breach of contract lawsuit. If this happens, you’ll need a good lawyer. Unless you had a very good reason for breaking the NDA, such as disclosing criminal activity being conducted by your employer, you may have a hard time winning your case. Should you lose, expect the court to order you to pay thousands of dollars in civil penalties.
Yes, you can be facing criminal charges if you violate your NDA. In many cases, this will happen if you broke your agreement by disclosing a company’s trade secrets to a competitor, or used information for criminal purposes such as blackmail or fraud. In the worst-case scenario, your NDA violation could lead to both civil and criminal penalties, including fines and jail.
While you may not think twice about signing various documents related to your job, don’t be as cavalier with an NDA. If you at some point break the agreement, chances are the actions that follow will have you regretting your decision.
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