As an employer, how can I construct a settlement agreement to include a confidentiality clause?

Asked over 3 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

I'm having trouble with the confidentiality clause for the settlement agreement with my employee. Instead of filing a workers comp claim, we have agreed to settle. I want to create a confidentiality clause to prevent my former employee from revealing his injury or potential claim to any 3rd party such as newspaper agencies, other employers, employees etc. Basically, I want to keep this settlement confidential from any and all 3rd parties. How can I construct the confidentiality clause to meet these requirements? Is there a nice sample of the clause that I can find online? Thank You

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Shawn Regis Jackson

    Contributor Level 15

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Well, you may want to think this one through. Although I understand what you want to accomplish, there are a number of Public Policies that may affect the enforceability of such an agreement. If you would like a FREE memorandum on terminating employees, just send us an email. I would also suggest that you call the EDD and the Labor Commissioner (wihtout letting them know who you are and from a caller ID blocked number) to discuss what you have in mind.

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  2. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . You would include a provision such as this:

    "CONFIDENTIALITY: This Agreement and the terms thereof shall be maintained in strict confidence by all parties. No party shall initiate, nor participate in, a press release, press conference, or other public disclosure of the settlement embodied by this Agreement, it being agreed by all parties that the policy of the law is best served by private settlements. In the event of press or other inquiry, the parties agree they will have no comment. The terms of this Agreement shall only be disclosed pursuant to lawful process or judicial order, and/or to spouses and legal and tax advisors."

  3. Daniel Nathan Ballard

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I agree with Attorney Jackson. The freedom to contract is not absolute.

    Just because two people agree on something and put their agreement into a written contract does not mean that the courts will enforce that agreement. A prostitute cannot use the courts to enforce a contract with her pimp, a bank robber cannot use the courts to enforce a contract with his co-robbers, and a husband or wife cannot enforce any provision in their postnuptial contract that promotes divorce. All of these contracts are illegal and void.

    A California labor attorney will have to pass on the question whether an employer [you] can go to court to enforce a contract with an employee who promises to keep his workplace injury secret. My instinct tells that agreement is illegal and void. But maybe not. You need to speak with a California labor attorney.

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