Q. As an employer, what can I do to avoid unauthorized disclosure of sensitive company information when an employee departs?
A. First, include a confidentiality policy in the employee handbook that makes clear that the improper use or disclosure of company information is a violation of the policy, and that the employee can be held personally liable for any damages resulting from the violation, even after termination of employment.
You should also make sure employees return all correspondence, documents or other writings related to company business before they leave, and that they don’t keep copies.
Second, you could also require that employees sign confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements. That would allow you to sue the employees for damages.
Finally, you should send every departing employee a letter reiterating the employee’s obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the company’s proprietary information.