In today’s business environment, a surprising portion of contracts include nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), even when their necessity isn’t immediately obvious. Of course, it only makes sense that any party should have the freedom to use the law to protect itself in business, but some NDAs far overreach the law and make demands that few courts may uphold.
If you find yourself facing a conflict involving an NDA that is too restrictive, you can begin building an exit strategy. Start by reviewing the original agreement very carefully. If the terms of the agreement are far-reaching or vague or if the remedies for violating the agreement are disproportionately high, then you may have grounds to contest the agreement in court.
Courts do not generally enforce overreaching NDAs. In order for a court to enforce such an agreement, the terms of the agreement must not place an undue burden on either party and must not violate existing laws.
You might be surprised to learn that many NDAs contain language that is not actually legal. It is possible that your own NDA violates your rights by barring you from speaking about certain issues that employers must generally allow, such as discussing pay with others or the conditions and features of the workplace. Still, many companies do include this kind of language in their contracts and simply keep it there until some challenges it.
With careful scrutiny of your own NDA, you may find similar weak areas that you can use to your advantage. However you choose to proceed, don’t put it off. The longer that you wait, the less time that you have to build your case and keep your own rights and priorities secure.