The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seems to be following in the NLRB’s footsteps. On April 1, the SEC announced that it had settled a civil enforcement action against KBR, Inc., for requiring employees who participated in internal corporate investigations to sign confidentiality agreements prohibiting them from discussing the investigations with outside parties unless they had prior approval of the corporate legal department. The settlement included a $130,000 fine.The SEC asserted that the confidentiality agreements violated whistleblower protections implemented under the Dodd-Frank Act applicable to publicly traded entities, specifically Rule 21F-17. As we have previously reported, the NLRB is aggressively scrutinizing employer policies and agreements on confidentiality. The NLRB will generally find a violation of the NLRA if employees by policy, agreement, or directive are subject to a confidentiality rule that the NLRB believes has a reasonable chance of interfering with the rights of employees to engage in any Section 7 activities, including the right to make reports to co-workers and third parties and to participate in government agency investigations. This trend in federal agencies’ enforcement might lead some employers to ask, “What’s confidential?” The answer seems to be, “not much.” Employers are advised to review all non-disclosure and confidentiality policies, agreements, and forms, and to consider the possibility that these documents may be subject to increased agency scrutiny, especially if the employer is a publicly traded entity, a government contractor, or an entity that is subject to the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act or similar law.