Foodservice Sales & Marketing Association

Employee Confidentiality Agreements

You’ve run a successful business for years, and during that time you have accumulated lots of information that you don’t want to get into competitors hands.  Information such as your marketing plans, business policies and procedures, employee salaries, customer quotes and bids, and pricing and sales forecasts are examples of information you wouldn’t necessarily want to divulge.

In addition, you and your staff routinely handle proprietary information provided by your customers and principals, and they also expect you to keep that information confidential.  

Normally, your employees wouldn’t share your trade secrets with a competitor or others.  But what happens if they leave the company, either voluntarily or involuntarily?

Do you have appropriate protections in place to insure that those valuable trade secrets are not shared?  One way to do that is to follow FSMA’s recommendation that all agency members have their employees sign a company confidentiality agreement to protect that valuable information.

None of us like to think of employees leaving and going to work for a competitor or supplier, but we all know that often happens.  When that employee leaves your company, you should make sure there is a legally binding confidentiality agreement in force with any departing employee. Then you would have legal remedies to pursue in the event any information is shared inappropriately.

FSMA recommends that you establish a company policy that requires all employees to sign a confidentiality agreement as a condition of employment, and add the agreement to your Employee Manual if you have one.  At a minimum, place a copy of the signed agreement in each employees file.

To help get you started, FSMA General Counsel Barry Maloney has drafted a recommended template you can use as is, or modify as needed.  It includes all the appropriate language to protect your proprietary information.  Get started today!

For more info, contact Barry Maloney at 202-596-8112  or