Many employment contracts / non compete agreements will include language that prohibits the sharing of confidential information, or even, making use of confidential procedures once someone leaves the business.
Is this enforceable? Well – maybe, depending on the business and the circumstances.
Example 1 – you work at The Ice Cream Parlor and sign a non-compete that you will not engage in any business activity, for 1 year after you leave the Ice Cream Parlor, where you use confidential information such as ice cream ingredients, and or methods of serving ice cream. The company however, begins to publish the ingredients on the internet. Is the information still “confidential” such that you could be prevented from using it? Probably not.
Example 2 – you work at Apple and are inventing the I-phone. Agreement states you will not share any confidential information or make use of that information for any reason. Is this enforceable. YES – most likely (at least in VA).
SO – each contract must be examined differently, and considered in light of all the facts.