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Can a company force an employee to sign a confidentiality/non disclosure agreement?

Galveston, TX |

I have been employed by this company for some length of time, now all of a sudden they want me to sign this agreement.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Each state has its own laws and then there is federal law. Nothing in Florida law or federal law prohibits an employer as a condition of continuing employment to require its employees to sign a confidentiality/nondisclosure agreement designed to protec itself from its competition.


  2. While the previous attorney answer is correct generally, your question presents an additional complication...the fact that you have been employed for some time prior to this agreement being presented. Generally, if your employer where to say "sign this or we will fire you" and they don't offer you additional compensation for signing the agreement then, because you have worked for them and this was not a part of your original work agreement, they can't "legally" fire you. By "legally" I mean that if you were fired you would have a potential action against them. That said, they would likely still fire you, and you would be unemployed. You would have to sue them and seek monetary damages. And none of that is guaranteed.

    All of this depends, of course, on your initial employment agreement/arrangement/contract. It is also depends upon Texas law (assuming you're employed in Texas) and I am not licensed in Texas. You should consult with a Texas Employment Law Attorney for specific advice on your issue.

    Best of luck.

    This answer and advice is general in nature and not intended as specific legal advice on the issue in question, nor does it create an attorney/client relationship or give rise to any privilege, including attorney/client privilege.


  3. Generally an employer in Texas can condition continued employment on signing the agreement. You do not have to be offered additional compensation to make the agreement valid. Not all states favor the employer in that regard but Texas is one that gives employers tremendous slack.

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