In Canada, the issue of whether an NDA may be an unenforceable restraint of trade has been explored in the employment law context, however, there has been very little discussion as to whether an NDA could be considered a restraint of trade in transactions between two or more businesses. There has also been little discussion in Canada as to the distinction between trade secrets and ordinary confidential information. As such, US case law may provide some guidance.
Employees, and employers, frequently seek to paint the employment relationship in a different manner in order to serve whatever goals they may have in either their employment or in the operation of their business. The writer has seen countless “Consulting Agreements” which merely attempt to clothe an employee with some characteristics of an independent contractor in the hope of either reducing taxes or avoiding Employment Standards Act responsibilities.
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