This avoids confusion and ambiguity that could call the enforceability of the contract into question. For example, every other project you worked on was confidential, for the office policy is to keep unreleased projects confidential. to the extent that it doesn't involve criminality but may render the agreement unenforceable.
Some of the issues that arise when back-dating a NDA are: @Chris W, Yes, that would be an example, but the more detailed the better. It would clearly be fine if the document simply formalised a NDA that the parties agree had been in force as a verbal agreement all along.
Further, there is the issue of consideration - what does the employee get for not disclosing?The wages they have had in the past is not good consideration - past consideration is not consideration. your last paragraph, if I were the employee in question I think I would have assumed that an NDA was assumed/implied/normal from day 1, whether or not it was formally documented, and that my wages and benefits were sufficient consideration for that NDA (again, from day 1).I'm not sure about this site's policies -- is it reasonable/polite to ask you to justify/explain the statement that "it doesn't involve criminality"? My question, is it legal to backdate an NDA like that?Is it a civil contract whose parties are allowed to agree (even retroactively) than an NDA is in place?
Or could doing so (backdating such a document) be considered fraud, forgery, or anything illegal, or even for some reason ethically or morally wrong?It seems to me that it might be legal (assuming that I as the employee were willing to sign it) because as an employee I'd assume that some NDA was in place even if haven't signed one (so it's as if the agreement or meeting of minds was in place even before it was documented).On the other hand it also appears to be creating a false document, so, I don't know.Generally you can back-date the effective date of a contract.Texas does not have any specific laws that prohibit it and in contracts law, this concept is called the "relation back" theory of contract effectiveness. 1990) for an explanation that back dating violates no general contract law principles and is "determined by the intent of the parties as deduced from the instrument itself." Aside from the obvious issues where someone is back-dating a contract to commit some type of fraud, back-dating raises a whole host of unforeseen consequences with regards to a party's performance under the contract as well as the rights of third parties.The best practice is to make it clear that the effective date and the execution date are different. Things are usually implied though a course of business.