• 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.
     
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