Skip to content

Time Limits in Confidentiality Agreements California

Confidentiality agreements or NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) are commonly used in businesses to protect sensitive information. These agreements are designed to prevent employees, contractors, partners, and other parties from disclosing any trade secrets, proprietary information, or other confidential data they may come across. However, it’s important to note that there are certain time limits in confidentiality agreements that vary from state to state.

If you reside in California, you need to be aware of the state’s specific laws around confidentiality agreements. In California, the law specifically states that any contract provision that restricts someone from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business is void. This means that any provision in an NDA that restricts an employee or contractor from working in their chosen field is unenforceable.

Additionally, the statute of limitations for breach of an NDA in California is three years from the date that the plaintiff knew or should have known about the breach. Meaning, if an employee disclosed confidential information three or more years after signing an NDA and the employer only found out about it now, the employer would not be able to sue for a breach of contract under California law.

However, there is an exception to the statute of limitations. Suppose an NDA has a specific time limit or “expiration date” for its obligations. In that case, the statute of limitations for a breach of that agreement would be extended to that specific date, and the plaintiff could still sue for a breach of contract.

It’s also worth noting that California law requires that any NDA or confidentiality agreement needs to be carefully drafted to ensure that it only contains provisions that are necessary to protect legitimate trade secrets or confidential information. Any provision that goes beyond what is necessary can be seen as unreasonable and thus unenforceable.

In conclusion, if you’re drafting or signing an NDA in California, you need to be mindful of the state’s specific laws around confidentiality agreements. Ensure that your agreement is carefully drafted, only contains necessary provisions, and complies with California’s time limits for confidentiality agreements. By following these guidelines, you can adequately protect your confidential information while remaining compliant with California law.