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Thread: Forced to sign a confidentiality agreement. Georgia

  1. #1
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    Default Forced to sign a confidentiality agreement. Georgia

    Is a confidentiality agreement valid if you where forced to sign it without reading it or risk losing you job on the spot?

    At 9:30 am today my employer told four other employees including myself that we must sign a confidentiality agreement. We all agreed to sign "only after reading" the ten page document. It was at this point my employer become angry threating to fire anyone who refused to sign it at that moment without getting a chance to read it first. as we all survive check to check, the threat of losing our jobs forced us to fearfully sign.

    So after getting a copy of this agreement and actually getting a chance to read it it has a non competition, ownership and title, and conflict of opportunities cluase in it. Which in turn screws my if he fires me.

    Am i correct in being pissed that he locked me into working for him only with ****ty pay or quit and not be able to work in my profession for two years after termination.

    So my question is as stated above. Is a confidentiality agreement valid if you were forced to sign it before having anytime to read it. Or risk getting fired on the spot ? I'm speaking 4-5 minutes tops with the boss screaming and cursing at everyone.

    Thank you in advance for all the advice

    Sincerely,

    ?fromGA
    Last edited by ?fromGA; 02-03-2017 at 08:47 PM.

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    I'm going to break this down a bit further for you.

    Yes, it is legal to require you to sign a confidentiality agreement unread and fire you if you do not. It is legal because there isn't a law that says it's not.

    However, that does not mean that the agreement is necessarily enforceable. Even an employer-friendly state like GA is unlikely to enforce a 2-year non-compete, particularly if it is not limited as to scope. The legality of requiring the signature, and the enforceability of the agreement itself, are unconnected.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    I'm going to break this down a bit further for you.

    Yes, it is legal to require you to sign a confidentiality agreement unread and fire you if you do not. It is legal because there isn't a law that says it's not.

    However, that does not mean that the agreement is necessarily enforceable. Even an employer-friendly state like GA is unlikely to enforce a 2-year non-compete, particularly if it is not limited as to scope. The legality of requiring the signature, and the enforceability of the agreement itself, are unconnected.

    Thank you for answering my question. May i ask if it was you in my position what steps would take next ? I honestly dont know what to do.

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    I would take the agreement to a lawyer in my jurisdiction and get his advice.

    If I was not given the opportunity to take it to a lawyer, I'd call the employer's bluff and refuse to sign. If he did fire me, I'd file for unemployment immediately.

    But that's me. YMMV.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    I would take the agreement to a lawyer in my jurisdiction and get his advice.

    If I was not given the opportunity to take it to a lawyer, I'd call the employer's bluff and refuse to sign. If he did fire me, I'd file for unemployment immediately.

    But that's me. YMMV.
    Thank you very much. Lawyer itis first.

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    Honestly? I'd find another job in your industry and tell him to try to sue you if he says anything about the noncompete. You state you are living paycheck to paycheck, so there's really nothing to go after if they were to drag you to court. And tell him that if he does take you to court, you will hire counsel and explain to the judge how you were made to sign it without being given time to read it under duress, and there was no real "meeting of the minds" to form this contract, and he can see how sympathetic the judge is. Good luck with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ferretrick View Post
    Honestly? I'd find another job in your industry and tell him to try to sue you if he says anything about the noncompete. You state you are living paycheck to paycheck, so there's really nothing to go after if they were to drag you to court. And tell him that if he does take you to court, you will hire counsel and explain to the judge how you were made to sign it without being given time to read it under duress, and there was no real "meeting of the minds" to form this contract, and he can see how sympathetic the judge is. Good luck with that.
    My wifr has stated something similar to what you have said also. Right now im headed to an attorney to see what he will say. I will keep this thread updated so other can hopefully find a resolution to there issue if similar to mine. Thanks for the advice

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    Just to be clear, confidentiality agreements and non-compete agreements (NCA) are legally two VERY different things.
    • Confidentiality agreements are almost always legal, even as a condition of employment.
    • NCAs are a lot more complicated. State law is different, and the exact wording of the NCA comes into play. NCA are always a "talk to an attorney who will have to read the NCA" thing.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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