Backdating employment contract
Not just during work hours, mind you, but if I wrote on the weekend, using my own gear, they would own it.
I believe the review for this contract was in the neighborhood of 0.
While it's likely a non-issue, it's important to protect yourself.
One possibility I haven't seen covered is the chance this is an honest mistake.
I think it would be best to avoid signing the agreement but how can I address my concerns with out creating much conflict with my employer? Your employer is asking you to falsify documentation for them that introduces an element of risk on your part and has no potential for anything beneficial for you. I would sign the Non Disclosure agreement with a current date.
Worst case scenario you are held accountable for something you did not realize was a problem or did not even do. And then sign a document where you affirm that you have not done anything that you believe would violate the spirit or letter of the NDA since you have begun employment.
Can you please update the date, and then we can go ahead and sign? A backdated NDA is valid from the point you sign it, but appears to be valid from an earlier date.
Make sure they give you a copy of the complete, signed document (signed by both parties). In the presence of the notary, write at the bottom (or the back of the document): "This document was executed Thursday, July 21, 2016, [or whatever enter today's date]" and sign this note and have the notary seal it.
If you think someone might want a good reason why you don't sign: Well, obviously by having an incorrect date you would be effectively lying - you would make it look like you signed two years ago, when you are signing right now. Rather than try to balance your loyalty to the employer and loyalty to your principles (and generally the truth), I strongly recommend not signing the backdated document.
A lot is at stake for you personally with this silly document.
You might assume the worst in people, so you might assume that they would use the backdated NDA against me, lying in court, which would be another good reason not to sign it. It is possible as Colleen points out that there are motives that are not malicious against the employee.
Conclusion: No matter what your assumptions are, don't sign it. In the case described, someone intends to make someone act differently by providing a forged document.(That is to say, what will happen if you sign it without understanding what exactly you are signing.) You run the risk of screwing yourself for a good, long time if you sign something without understanding the risks and weighing them carefully.