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Do You Require New Employees to Sign an NDA? 4 Out of 5 Jewelry Store Owners Say No

do you or don't you: Some feel it’s difficult to enforce, while others say it’s not necessary.





Do you require new employees to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?

Yes: 18%

  • Confidentiality is critical in our line of work. You have to cover all the bases. — Chris H., Ephrata, WA
  • We handle a lot of personal information on customers and a lot of vendor information. We have to protect it. Our customer information can’t be taken from the store. — Michelle T., Brookfield, WI
  • Because we have been in business for 30 years with 60,000-plus customers’ personal data and history along with companies’ info. In order for the sales staff to properly do their job, they need access to all the data and info. If for my reason that they were to leave, it is crucial that the information be protected. — Joel W., Broken Arrow, OK
  • Because I take my business seriously and I want my staff to do the same … and because it’s nobody else’s business. 🙂 — Erika G., Kearney, NE
  • Training and allowing for cost awareness demands it. — Kelly V., Geneva, IL
  • Everything is confidential here, and I want them to know how serious this is. Our customers’ information is private, and they appreciate their information is kept private. — Susan E., El Paso, TX
  • Non-disclosure is written into our handbook/contract. We require employees to sign an NDA because we want our cost and markup to be private knowledge, and we are getting away from brands in the store, so we don’t necessarily want all vendor information disclosed. — Beth Greene, Conti Jewelers, Binghamton, NY
  • To keep accountability, we always tell them not to talk about clients/business, but the document adds another layer. — Tom D., Warren, OH
  • It is recommended by our attorney but at the same time not easily enforceable. — Nicholas P., Dickson City, PA

No: 82%

  • We have a code of conduct in our team handbook that they sign, but an NDA and non-compete documents are not realistically enforceable. You’ll spend a whole lot of time and money with an attorney to try for a positive outcome, and in my thoughts, that money is better spent keeping staff happy so they don’t want to leave. — Heather W.
  • Employees are like family here. Most of us have been here for 15-20 years. — Ellie M., St. Michaels, MD
  • Not enforceable anyway. Besides, nothing is legal in Oregon. Employees have more rights than employers. Don’t want to go there. — Natasha H., Bend, OR
  • I never thought about it. How can you police what people do outside your business? — Amber G., Katy, TX
  • I think you’d have to pursue a lawsuit if you found out they violated the agreement (if you find out!). — Kas J., Jefferson City, MO
  • Don’t see the need to threaten employees with legal moves. And they would be generally hard to enforce anyway. — Alex W., Torrance, CA
  • Thanks for mentioning it. We will in the future. — James G., Memphis, TN
  • If they sign an NDA then breach, it would cost more to sue and try to collect damages then just not dealing with the NDA in the first place. Courts aren’t going to prevent someone from making a living if it has to do with a non-compete clause. Courts aren’t on the side of small businesses; you’ll spend more money in litigation versus just letting it go. — Jeremy A., Los Angeles, CA
  • We primarily focus on custom. You still need to do the work, so hand-engraving is something that is difficult to copy. — Joe K., Milford, OH
  • We have never had the problem but just the opposite. We have employees that have come from other stores. — Tim W., Yorktown, VA
  • They are very difficult to get to stand up in court, and if there is actionable behavior, there are other recourses than relying on an NDA. — Tracy G., Woodstock, IL
  • There isn’t much business information that we consider confidential other than customers’ personal information. We have used NDAs from time to time, but the staff expected additional compensation in order to sign it. If there is any confidential information an employee shouldn’t know, we don’t share it. — Eric S., West Springfield, MA
  • Why? And how would you pursue it legally? It opens the relationship with the spirit of distrust. — Jo G., Oconomowoc, WI
  • We tell them what we expect, and if they start talking about customers to others and we find out, they are fired! — Tim S., Mobile, AL

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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