How long after an employee quits does an employer have to send a copy of their non-disclosure agreement?

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How long after an employee quits does an employer have to send a copy of their non-disclosure agreement?

I quit my job in about 5 months ago due to a cut in pay, even though under contract with a salary guarantee. Now my ex-employer is sending me a letter to cease talking to certain clients after all this time. I have been talking and doing business with some of these clients listed already. In the state of CA isn’t there a limit on the amount of time they can take to send this? I work in transportation brokerage and this former employer is upset that some of their clients have contacted me and want to do business with me instead of them.

Asked on August 15, 2011 California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If there is such a law on the matter it is best that you seek to ask it to an attorney in your area.  Generally speaking, if you signed a non-compete or a non-disclosure agreement then read it.  It most likely does not state specifically which clients or indicate that they will send any list.  It will be basic and state "clients" assuming that you knew who you and they did business with and not to have contact with them (and obviously that is correct if you have already spoken with their clients).  Lets just make sure that we know what we are talking about here.  A non-disclosure agreement is also known as a confidentiality agreement and usually has to do with trade secrets, proprietary information, etc.  This type of information is protected by the courts.  Non-compete agreements are different and they are illegal in California if I am correct.  Take what you signed to an attorney to review.  Good luck.


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