Confidential and Proprietary Information of Employer

By hrlineup | 24.04.2020

Coca-Cola is one of the world’s biggest beverage companies. The management of the company work hard to retain this position, especially when it comes to the formulas for the products. One may even say that their formulas are shrouded in secrecy. However, there are some employees who have information on these secrets, so that the products can continue to be produced. Confidentiality agreements for employees ensure that this sensitive information is not shared outside of the organisation, even after the employees leave employment.

Employees are required to sign confidentiality agreements to ensure that they recognise and acknowledge that there are some assets within the organisation that are classified as confidential. Confidential proprietary information includes data related to the clients or customers, policies for pricing, profits and costs, operational and technical processes, sales data and more.

Should an employee share information that is considered confidential during their employment or as stipulated in the contract, the employee would have breached their contract. The result could be termination, and in serious cases, legal action may be taken.

Sections of an Employee Confidentiality Agreement

There are several sections that can be found in this type of agreement, and these include: –

  1. Non-Disclosure – To ensure that all confidential information is not disclosed either verbally, through copy, publishing or in any other way. Also stipulates consequence of sharing this information.
  2. Proprietary Information – To ensure that at the end of the employment contract, all information relating to the company will be returned.
  3. Non-Competition = To ensure that while working for the company, one will not seek for employment with the competition or engage in activity with a competitor.
  4. Other Information
  5. Acceptance Section – A section for signing agreement.

These need to be detailed with information that pertains to the company. This means that one should not simply use a template, it is necessary to have a comprehensive agreement. At the end of the agreement, there should be a place for the employee to sign, acknowledging that they have read and agree with the information in the policy. In this way, the policy becomes a contract protecting your confidential and proprietary business information.

Employers need to introduce this document from the very beginning of the employment relationship. Since individuals at different levels in the organisation may have access to data of varying sensitivity levels, there should be various drafts available for the agreement. This way, an employee can receive a confidentiality agreement that pertains to the information that they will access. It can have much more details for those who are higher up in the organisation, such as management.

The best way to make sure that an employee appropriately handles confidential information, intellectual property and trade secrets is through a typical employee confidentiality agreement. This will ensure that there is no unauthorised use of information that is confidential, or disclosure that could be damaging to the company. Furthermore, if it is necessary, the employer can take legal action if they have a signed agreement as a supporting document.