Confidentiality Agreements

On April 1, 2015, the SEC issued its first-ever enforcement action against a company for using overly restrictive language in one of its confidentiality agreements in violation of SEC Rule 21F-17(a).  We posted previously regarding the settlement order between the SEC and KBR, Inc.  In that Order, KBR, Inc., agreed to include the following language

The SEC has become increasingly vigilant and aggressive about what employers say in their confidentiality agreements and the context in which they say it.  We previously cautioned employers when FINRA issued a Regulatory Notice cracking down on the use of confidentiality provisions that restrict employees from communicating with FINRA, the SEC, or any other self-regulatory

Our colleague Frank C. Morris, Jr., at Epstein Becker Green wrote the December issue of Take 5, with five key action items for employers in 2014.  Following is an excerpt:

It’s December, and human resources professionals and law departments are reflecting on the issues addressed in 2013 and giving thanks for incident-free holiday parties.