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  • Are Confidentiality Provisions in Settlement Agreements Enforceable?

    When settling an employment claim, many employers insist upon a confidentiality clause.  The clauses vary but oftentimes provide for liquidated damages or the return of the settlement payment if the person discloses the existence or amount of the settlement agreement.  So how enforceable are those agreements?  According to a story by the Palm Beach Post, one Florida teen’s Facebook post cost the father his $80,000.00 settlement.

    According to the article, Patrick Snay settled his age discrimination case against his former employer, Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami.  The settlement agreement included a confidentiality clause.  Upon learning of the settlement, Mr. Snay’s daughter posted the following on her Facebook page: “Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.”  When the school learned about the post, they accused Mr. Snay of violating the confidentiality clause and refused to pay the settlement.

    Snay won an early victory to enforce the agreement, but the school appealed the decision and won.  Mr. Snay could appeal again, but there’s no guarantee he’ll get the money back.

    The moral of the story: If you sign an agreement promising not to disclose something, keep your mouth shut.  Perhaps even more importantly, know

    The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego
    95 South Market Street, Suite 520
    San Jose, CA 95113
    Tel. 408-293-6341
    Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman, former associate of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.
    Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law, but we cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.
    Your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego. The use of the Internet or this blog for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be posted in this blog and the Law Office of Phillip J. Griego cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted to this blog. Phillip J. Griego represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.