Workplace Confidentiality Lawyers

All employees owe a duty of confidentiality to their employer. It does not matter whether an employee’s employment contract includes a clause protecting confidentiality, all employees have an implied duty, during and after employment, to protect confidential information or trade secrets they acquired during their employment.

However, the law does not prevent ex-employees from using acquired skills or experience in new positions at new employers. Moreover, information that is not strictly “confidential” is not protected by the implied duty to keep confident company information. For example, a restaurant employee may owe a duty to preserve a recipe for his employer’s secret sauce, but a sales employee may not owe a duty to preserve his contacts, or well developed sales pitch that he acquired at his ex-employer, at his next job.

Regardless, it is the onus of the employer to prove, based on a complicated legal test, that an employee has breached its confidentiality duties. This favours employees, as much of employment law does.

The test to determine whether an employee has breached her duty of confidentiality is as follows:

  1. the information given to the employee was confidential (i.e. secret and protected);
  2. the information was given to the employee in confidence; and
  3. the information was misused by the employee or new employer to whom it was communicated.
Dutton Employment Law is a employee confidentiality law firm.

If you are concerned about your obligations to your employer, or if you have any questions concerning company confidentiality, generally, please contact a trade secret and employe confidentiality lawyer.