What happens if you break an NDA?
Learn about the consequences you could face if you choose to violate non-disclosure agreement.
An NDA or “non-disclosure agreement” is a relatively standard legal contract. The individual who signs the NDA agrees not to publicly disclose certain information about an individual, employer, or other entity. But what happens if you break a non-disclosure agreement? Well, there can be some severe consequences, so always think before you sign.
The consequences of breaking an NDA.
Non disclosure agreements are designed to heavily deter people from releasing sensitive information to other parties or the public, and for this to be effective, there must be some hefty consequences attached. In many cases, the specific impact of breaking your NDA will be outlined in the contract. Some examples of penalties related to breaking an NDA include:
- A lawsuit for breach of contract
- Monetary fines
- Termination of employment (if the NDA is signed as a condition of employment)
Again, most consequences of breaking a non-disclosure are outlined in the contract itself, so always carefully review the terms of the NDA before you sign.
Is it ever okay to break an NDA?
The basic answer to this is ... no. However, non disclosures are never designed to conceal things like criminal activity. If you signed an NDA and were later the victim of or witnessed criminal wrongdoing, it’s best to consult a lawyer to see what options are available to you.
NDA’s can carry serious civil and criminal penalties if broken, so like all contracts, you must understand all the terms of the agreement before you sign. If in doubt, contact an attorney who can review the document for you and answer any questions before you sign.
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