When it comes to employees, a company is well served when it mentions the need for confidentiality agreements in the personnel manual. The terms of the manual should address all individual responsibilities, including the exclusion of the project or its information from the many forms of social media. The employment contracts of the undertaking, where applicable, should include a language of confidentiality which reflects the language required by the undertaking. Without seeing the actual deal, it`s hard to say, but if you`re all involved in really sensitive projects, or even projects that have contractual obligations, that can be disclosed, the company could have decided to publish a lump sum «cya» to make sure people don`t accidentally disclose something they shouldn`t, Even if this is the case with the best intentions. But that`s just a guess. Keeping the information in-house, as you referred to at the beginning, is huge right now. I don`t want laid-off employees, especially someone who helps with marketing, to run away with our project managers. I will probably sue someone if they did. This aspect is incredibly serious. It seems like everyone there is working with the principals to discuss why this is being introduced right now. It is never wrong for someone to check it, but as has already been said, although these are not usual in our work, they are very common elsewhere and some I have seen are extremely restrictive.
Thank you all for your comments and links to similar articles. I have some clarity on the situation in our office lately. It turns out that a former employee brought to another company not only complete electronic drawing files, but also prices, customer information and a pricing structure to steal a project from under the feet of our company. This former employee has not been with the company for about six months, and I don`t know why he took so long as he has to establish a confidentiality agreement as long as I have it on my desk, but it would be possible for a good reason. I`m quite amazed at the level at which people will interpret roles in a project by deliberately using copyrighted photography like their own, and in the case of a comment on the file that uses a company`s documentation when they are not part of that company. Anyway, I think what I can take away from this article is that if you are honest with yourself, with potential customers/companies/jobs and with ex-employers, no damage is done. Does the agreement state that «you do not use materials under any circumstances» or that «you may not use the materials without the explicit prior permission of the company»? The profession is full of examples of people leaving a company and claiming totally unjustified responsibilities in projects that have hardly affected them. We had a former employee who had included images in his portfolio for projects that were finalized before he even entered the company.
While I think agreements of the kind you mention are relatively rare, they are probably the only practical way for any company to exercise some reluctance about how former employees present their experience and contribution during their time at the company. There are many circumstances in which a confidentiality agreement (NDA) is required of a company. These documents are now needed for a growing number of possibilities, including orders from government agencies with confidentiality or security criteria, companies with competitive positioning, patents and trade secrets, and even the possibility of guest lists of proposing companies. In each of these cases and more, the NDA is a legal agreement between two or more parties that protect confidential information. When it comes to architectural practice, NDA documents can be of three general types: a one-sided document in which a client discloses proprietary information to the architect; a bilateral document in which two companies decide to protect the information exchanged with the other; or a multilateral document in which several parties agree to protect the information exchanged. . . .