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Confidential and Proprietary Information Policy

Author: Jason Habinsky, Haynes & Boone

When to Use

This policy covers employee use of the employer's confidential and proprietary information. Because employees may be privy to an employer's confidential and proprietary information as well as to confidential information about customers, clients, suppliers and business partners, it is important for an employer to develop and implement a Confidential and Proprietary Information Policy. The policy should convey that the unauthorized disclosure or use of confidential information will not be tolerated by the employer and that employees will be subject to strict disciplinary measures for such disclosures or misuse. Having a written policy will also decrease the likelihood that employees will inadvertently use or disclose such information.

The policy should be communicated to employees at the commencement of employment. Employees should be required to sign and acknowledge that they have received and understand the policy and consent to its terms which will demonstrate that they are aware of the scope and purpose of the policy.