In certain industries and circumstances, employees may be required to sign agreements never to disclose confidential information or "trade secrets" which, under Washington law, are defined as:
information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process that:
a) derives actual or potential independent economic value from not being generally known or readily assertainable; and
b) is the subject at reasonable efforts to keep it secret.
The obligation to preserve trade secrets usually extends past termination or separation and violations may trigger suit for court injunctions and damages. I represent both employers and employees in the mediation and litigation of such disputes in state and federal court.