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Trump Organization employees must agree to keep info about Trump family secret

Trump business empire detail
Trump Organization employees must agree to keep info about Trump family secret 02:45

WASHINGTON -- Throughout his business career, Donald Trump placed a premium on fame. But President Trump's business organization wants to stay on the down low.

CBS News has obtained a new confidentiality agreement rolled out after the election. The Trump Organization is requiring employees at all levels to sign it, or else they will lose their jobs.

Employees must agree to keep secret any information they learn about anyone in the "Trump family" and extended family, including their "present, former and future spouses, children, parents, in-laws."

"I have reviewed confidentiality agreements in international, family-run hospitality organizations and... I have never seen a loyalty code to a family like this," said Debra Soltis, who has specialized in employment law for more than 25 years.

Debra Soltis CBS News

"This confidentiality agreement looks more like what you would expect to sign if you were a nanny to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's children, where you were being brought into the home and exposed to private information," she said. 

Specifically off limits: "all political, legal, social, religious, health-related affairs, activities, views and/or opinions of any member of the Trump family... all photographs, movies, sketches, videos, sound or image recordings or likenesses of any member of the Trump family."

The agreement lasts forever and is retroactive.

Trump can cash in on businesses as president 02:25

Soltis says the agreement could discourage would-be whistleblowers. Because even though the company code of conduct requires employees to be truthful in any government inquiry, the confidentiality agreement has a clause saying if an employee is required by law to disclose confidential information, they have to notify the Trump Organization.

"What if an employee had information that was relevant and the public had every right to know? Under this agreement they could not share it. They couldn't raise their hand and say 'I know something, I've seen something.' And that is deeply troubling," she said.

In a statement, the Trump Organization told CBS News it has used confidentiality agreements for many years. 

"This is no different than any other company in the hospitality industry and beyond," a spokesperson said. "To suggest otherwise is not only disingenuous but downright absurd."

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