There are many ways that a contract can be broken. In some cases, the consequences of a breach aren’t very serious — but many contracts concern highly sensitive issues and require complete compliance. One of these types of contracts has to do with confidentiality. These can cover everything from patient information to trade secrets.
If you have reason to believe that a business partner, former employee, independent contractor or someone else who has a confidentiality contract with your company has broken it, you must take swift action. Some instances of confidential information being leaked can cause problems for the company.
Investigate the matter
Your investigation should start with a thorough review of the confidentiality agreement to determine whether the situation was covered or not. While some cases are clear cut, others need to be looked into a bit closer. It’s imperative that you get as much information as you can about the matter to ensure that you’re handling the situation properly. Gather your documents, your evidence and do a complete review before you decide what steps to take next.
Plan your actions
If you learn that the incident was covered by the contract, look to the remedies specified in your contract. Is there an arbitration clause or a penalty of some sort already specified? Have you already been economically damaged by the other party’s actions? If so, you may have to pursue a lawsuit — although that may not be your only option. Working with an experienced advocate can help you figure out the best approach to take to your problem.
Not only do you have to think about how you can enforce the contract, but you may also need to review ways that you can do damage control to help minimize the impact that the leaked information has on your business. Your goal should be to do what it takes within the confines of the law to protect your company.