Employers often use broad language in employee confidentiality agreements to protect company information. Recently, several administrative agencies have proactively regulated language in these agreements to protect various employee rights, including the right to communicate with agencies, bring claims against their employers, and discuss employment conditions amongst each other. While necessary, this recent attention to confidentiality provisions creates a unique regulation issue. With so many agencies involved, regulation has the potential to undermine legitimate employer interests in protecting proprietary information and push employers to find other problematic ways to control their employees. This comment explores interagency coordination as a solution to the potential problems this regulatory issue creates. It notes the inefficiencies that current independent regulation creates, and common coordination tools that agencies have used in the past to resolve difficult regulatory questions. Given the unusual difficultly of regulating agreement language, this comment finds that flexible coordination tools like joint rulemaking and interagency adjudication are feasible solutions.
"Confidentiality Agreements in the Administrative State,"
University of Chicago Legal Forum: Vol. 2017, Article 24.
Available at: https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/uclf/vol2017/iss1/24