Nondisclosure-AgreementA nondisclosure agreement, sometimes known as a confidentiality agreement, is a type of contract that requires an employee to protect trade secrets and other various confidential information provided to an employee throughout his or her employment.  This type of business agreement restricts disclosure during employment and also for a period of time after the employment relationship ends. A business’ confidential information is valuable and vital and needs to be protected to ensure the business will remain competitive in the present and after key employees no longer work there. This is why employers often protect proprietary information from being misappropriated by a former employee.

Nondisclosure agreement can also be used outside of an employment setting, and during business transactions.  The person to whom the information is disclosed is legally bound to keep the information secret.

However, not all information will be granted protection. Information will be regarded worthy of protection if it is genuinely proprietary and confidential, such that its disclosure would give a new employer an unfair advantage over the original employer. The employee’s mere skill or experience does not satisfy this requirement. Customer lists that are created by a business through extensive time and effort and are kept in confidence may be treated as trade secrets and thus, are a protectable interest.

A nondisclosure agreement is a business contract which requires an employee or another individual to protect trade secrets and other confidential information that has been provided to that person by an employer or business.
If an employee or another person who is bound by a nondisclosure agreement, ultimately reveals such confidential information in violation of the nondisclosure agreement, the injured party can potentially sue for breach of contract and pursue injunctive and monetary relief.

South Carolina courts have held that a nondisclosure agreement which contains various provisions that are overly broad will be held to be unenforceable. These business agreements usually will end up in commercial litigation. A nondisclosure agreement that would make it impossible for an employee to ever hold a job in the same field is cut and dry undue hardship and ultimately unenforceable.  An employer needs to recognize the language of a nondisclosure agreement in order to protect his or her confidential and proprietary information and to allow the courts to enforce the nondisclosure agreement.