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Employer asking for NDA after resignation? California

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  • #16
    Just a quick update on the off chance that somebody finds this in the archives someday.

    I finally had an exit interview with the old company's HR Director last week where she again stated CA law mandated I sign the NDA/non-compete letter. I informed her that after consulting with councel, I was instructed not to sign anything. But if should could offer the specific CA law or code I could run that by my new legal dept.

    The whole conversation lasted less than 5 minutes and I revealed nothing about my new position, reasons for leaving etc. Didn't see the point.

    It has now been one week since that conversation and no surprise, no communication from them with that CA law they swore existed...


    • #17
      The above advice from the “legitimate” posters above appears quite sound.

      One more possible point to consider: You may want to be wary of disclosing any truly confidential information you learned during your former employment. I have not personally researched or otherwise looked into this area in several years. I do recall, though, that several jurisdictions recognized a common law “duty” prohibiting ex-employees from benefiting from or otherwise utilizing their former employers’ confidential information.

      I do not remember the parameters of said duty. More fundamentally, I do not know whether the CA courts would recognize such a common law duty. With that said, while you are not contractually obligated under a non-disclosure (or a non-compete) agreement, you probably do not want to start mixing up “Big Mac Secret Sauce” at Burger King or anywhere else! While the clients of your former employer are probably in play, its confidential proprietary information is still probably out of bounds.

      Of course, if you have a question about the possible existence of this common law duty and whether any particular information should remain confidential, you should consult with an experienced local attorney.

      And, remember, you are no longer on the “Christmas Card List” at your old job. If you cross the line, even innocently, your former employer may be particularly motivated to sue you if it can fathom any legitimate grounds to do so. You may want to know your rights in this regard conclusively in advance.