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By Louise Herman

When you start a new job or are promoted within your company to a new position, you’re likely excited about the new challenges. You’ll also need to sign a number of employment contracts which can include a non-disclosure agreement. Though it’s a fairly standard document across all industries, you may be hesitant to sign it. There are many terms and conditions within the contract that you might not fully comprehend, making it nerve-wracking to sign a non-disclosure agreement. You’ll want to keep reading to learn what happens if you refuse to sign an NDA and how a Providence, Rhode Island employment agreement lawyer can help you navigate the situation.

Why Might I Have to Sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement?

As previously mentioned, an NDA is a standard agreement many companies use in order to protect their best interest. Generally, an NDA prohibits employees from sharing or discussing trade secrets or information that could hurt the business with anyone outside of the company or who may not be authorized to have access to sensitive information.

This information could include patents, new products, financial information, or other confidential and sensitive data. For example, you may require sales representatives to sign an NDA prohibiting them from sharing a client list with potential future employers.

What Happens if I Don’t Sign the NDA?

It’s important to note that you are well within your legal right to refuse to sign an NDA. However, the company may then reconsider you for the role.

Unfortunately, many assume that informing their employer that they should refrain from sharing confidential information with them is an alternative to signing an NDA. However, this is far from the truth. If you are asked to sign an NDA, it is likely that the information you are prohibited from sharing plays an essential factor in the responsibilities of your job. Thus, the employer will not be able to avoid sharing this information with you to complete your job effectively.

How Can an Attorney Help Me?

If you are hesitant about signing an NDA, you have every right to ask your attorney to review the terms and conditions of the document. In most cases, the contract is valid and reasonable, and you can proceed with confidence. However, there have been extreme situations where employees have unknowingly signed documents that prohibit them from working in a related field for the rest of their careers.

When you are presented with a non-disclosure agreement, ensuring a competent and experienced attorney reviews it is crucial to protecting your best interest as an employee. At the Herman Law Group, we understand that these documents can contain dense and confusing text. We have the experience you need to review these documents so you know what you’re agreeing to before signing. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case with our dedicated legal team.

About the Author
At Herman Law Group, our focus is on safeguarding the rights and careers of employees and businesses alike. With over 35 years of successful legal practice, Louise A. Herman brings an invaluable dual perspective from representing both employees and employers. This unique insight allows us to effectively achieve successful outcomes for our clients in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and nationwide.