We all understand the importance of including a confidentiality clause in settlement, severance, and separation agreements. While nothing can prevent a departing employee from going on a conspicuous shopping spree or driving around town in a flashy new car with his/her settlement dollars or severance payment, employers want to avoid a situation where a former employee openly discloses the amount of a settlement or severance payment and encourages legal challenges by other employees who may have different circumstances than the employee receiving the payment and/or causing discord among current employees who feel cheated by the departing employee receiving a payment they do not believe the employee deserved. A recent Facebook mistake by the daughter of a plaintiff who settled a lawsuit with his former employer highlights the need for well drafted confidentiality clauses. In a story making news beyond just the human resources and legal circles, Dana Snay’s Facebook post cost her father his $80,000 settlement.
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