Can I get out of a non-disclosure agreement?

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Can I get out of a non-disclosure agreement?

My employer had me sign a non disclosure agreement at the end of my annual evaluation meeting. At the time of the signing, I was extremely upset and crying. All I wanted to do was leave the room and I was under the impression that I had to sign the agreement right then. I was not aware of my legal rights concerning the signing of such documents and I would like to know if it is legally binding. The document was not drafted by any lawyers. It was a generic document that my employer drafted so that I couldn’t discuss with my coworkers what we talked about in my meeting.

Asked on July 9, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is binding. There is no requirement that such agreements be drafted by attorneys. Also, the law would consider that you signed it voluntarily, even if you signed it in fear for your position (i.e. that you'd be fired if you did not)--that's because you have the right to decline and risk your job, and so you are deemed to have voluntarily chosen to sign because you value your position more than you object to the agreement. Having voluntarily signed the agreement, you are bound to it. The fact that you were emotionally distraught does not invalidate the agreement, unless you were literally mentally incapable at the time--e.g. subject to some intoxicant or mental illness which made you unable to appreciate what you were doing.


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