By having the person or company sign the agreement, you have some legal protection. Patents and other proprietary information are critical to your business success in a competitive market. Privacy protection has also become more necessary and common in professional relationships. Lawyers have legal protection that allows them to speak openly to clients without fear of having to share information. Employers who wish to use the provisions of the View Statute to obtain punitive damages and attorneys` fees from a former employee or independent contractor must include a whistleblowing provision in all confidentiality agreements entered into after the passage of the law (11 May 2016). Failure to include the provision does not preclude filing in federal court, but only the recovery of punitive damages and attorneys` fees. In other words, the provision is highly recommended, but it is not mandatory: California law defines the ownership of trade secrets. California is unique in that its laws explicitly state that the employer possesses trade secrets established by an employee. .