Employment Contracts & Confidentiality Agreements
November 18, 2011 § 2 Comments
When you work for celebrities and high net worth individuals most likely you will be asked to sign an employment contact and/or confidentiality agreement. It is perfectly normal and expected you will sign a document promising to never divulge your work, project content and employer to anyone.
Now, I am guilty of blindly signing a confidentiality agreement without reading it because I knew it would never have to be enforced. And usually, most of the language is standard and customary…but beware, I have also seen some real doozies!
I once saw an employment contract that said if the company wanted to fire me, they did not need to give me any notice. But if I wanted to quit, I had to give 1 months notice or forfeit pay equal to one month. Talk about fuzzy math?? (We changed it to reflect that we both had to give 2 weeks notice with no monies forfeited.)
I also read a confidentiality agreement that said if I was suspected of breaching confidentiality I would have to pay my legal fees and that of the employer to prove me guilty and/or clear my name. Suspected? (We removed the word “suspected,” and replaced it with “convicted.”) We should’ve replaced it with crazy.
There was one who wanted to charge me any damages the person felt to their character or career (still not sure how they would quantify that??) to me if I was found selling stories to the press. Now I would not sell any stories to the press so even though I could be on the hook for an unknown amount they decided to put on me, this particular one didn’t matter because it was never going to happen. (Did that mean if an actor making 10 mil a movie could no longer work because I sold a story I would be on the hook for 10 mil??? Good luck with that).
Bottom line, like any legal document that you must sign, read it with common sense and have a professional read it too.