Ex-Employee Permitted to Blog About Company Despite Confidentiality Agreement

By Thomas McKinney

The Supreme Court of New York recently held that an ex-employee was permitted to write blog entries about his former employer despite signed confidentiality and non-solicitation agreements.  The Court found that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution protected individuals from judicial restraint of speech related to a public concern.  The former employer was required to demonstrate “extraordinary circumstances” in order to enjoin the ex-employee from writing blog articles about the company.  The Court held that the employer failed to demonstrate extraordinary circumstances and allowed the ex-employee to continue writing blog entries and communicating with customer despite his confidentiality and non-solicitation agreements.  For more information on this case, see Cambridge Who’s Who Publishing Inc. v. Sethi, 9175/10 NYLJ 1201482619238 (Sup. Ct. Nassau County 1/25/11).

We recommend that you speak with an employment attorney regarding your confidentiality and non-solicitation agreements before posting blog entries about an ex-employer.  Although the Court ruled that a preliminary injunction was not proper in this matter, the ex-employee may still be liable for damages as a result of his breach of the confidentiality and non-solicitation agreements.  Moreover, the ex-employee most likely incurred a significant amount of attorneys’ fees defending this matter and will continue incurring additional fees as the litigation proceeds.

March 22, 2011 – Castronovo & McKinney – Tom McKinney

About the Author
Tom McKinney is an experienced NJ Employment Lawyer in all major areas of labor and employment law, including discrimination, harassment, overtime violations, wage and hour claims, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, LAD, FLSA, and all other employment law claims. Tom is admitted to practice in the States of New Jersey and New York, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York, District of New Jersey, and United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Prior to forming the firm, Tom practiced at Gibbons P.C. in Newark, NJ. If you have any questions regarding this article, contact Tom here today.