Story 57

27th July 2021

Since it’s been asked through your process to share my story without any identifying details, I will follow suit. However, my soon to be published memoir breaks boundaries and will absolutely contain identifying details. My position is that If I fail to identify the corrupt behavior of those responsible, they continue to get away with reprehensible acts. Here, I will share, in a shortened version, my experiences. 

 

In 2016, I brought a complaint against a municipal police force in Canada for ageism because of its handling of my application to be a police officer. After a disturbing phone call with a recruiting official, 2 years after I had passed my interview, in which she asked me “how old are you’, and then removed me from the process, I made a complaint to the Human Rights Commission, which is supposedly free and neutral in terms of dealing with both parties in an impartial matter in comparison to the time-consuming, expensive option of court procedure. I had previously reached out to all sorts of legal programs for representation, but none would get involved.

 

 In  2017, I very regrettably signed an NDA. Within the one mere month thereafter that I was entitled to contest it, I approached the Human Rights Legal Support Centre because they have lawyers on staff who are supposed to assist in with these kinds of requests. Not only did I never speak with a lawyer, each of their gatekeepers deflected my concerns, and then the time limitation passed. My requests for assistance were repeatedly ignored by a plethora of lawyers, months and even years afterwards, even those whose occupation was in the category of ‘human rights’ and employment. This shows you the power the policing institution has enjoyed.

 

 In 2020, I wrote a formal complaint to the Social Justice Tribunal requesting that my agreement be abolished. I stated I wasn’t interested in a reconsideration option because Tribunal stipulated that the original adjudicator would be in the best position to determine if my request was acceptable. However, the adjudicator was one of the focuses of my complaint. I cited every single ground on which I was entitled to have my request accepted, according to their own website: substantive and procedural grounds of unconscionability, exceptional circumstances granted to the respondent, the fact I had requested legal representation during the disclosure and was denied, the fact the adjudicator provided by the HRT was herself biased towards the respondent, the subtle coercion used by her, my lack of any semblance of understanding of the contract presented to me despite her tepid explanations. The respondent clearly had an advantage, possessing ‘superior bargaining power,’ and had their own lawyer present. I had no one. The HRC didn’t adhere to their own Code.

 

 The Social Justice Tribunal responded months later (after saying they never received my complaint) that the matter was ‘resolved,’ and asked if I wanted to proceed to seek the services of a lawyer and apply to divisional court (knowing full well no lawyer would become involved). Signing the NDA, a contract or document I personally consider a bribe, which is illegal, was likely the worst decision of my life. It was accomplished during a time when I had no support system in place as my husband had to leave for work out of province for 7 years while I went to university and raised 6 children single-handedly.

 This whole process was horrific. I had already gone a year prior to signing the NDA during which time I had refused to sign. The second time I went, I had no support, no legal representation, and faced an adjudicator who made disparaging comments about my motivation and pressured me to sign. 

 

How much time was I given to decide what to do? The adjudicator pointedly suggested to the respondent that it was ‘in their best interest to resolve the matter that day’. And to me, you’ve been waiting for this day for a while, and postponing it to a hearing will take at least another 9 months. You don’t want that, do you”? She was plainly trying to expedite the process that day to avoid future interaction and further examination of the respondent.

 

 The Human Rights Tribunal is a complete misnomer.  Because, like most people,  I did not have the luxury of paying for a legal team to represent me, my only recourse was to write of it. I applaud Julie’s efforts to bring public recognition to the absolute detrimental damage done to victims who regrettably sign NDA’s.

N.S. won’t ban NDAs in sexual assault cases, despite growing online petition image

N.S. won’t ban NDAs in sexual assault cases, despite growing online petition

The Hockey Canada scandal shows the harmful escalation of non-disclosure agreements image

The Hockey Canada scandal shows the harmful escalation of non-disclosure agreements

HOCKEY CANADA AND NDAs JAN-FEB 2024 image

HOCKEY CANADA AND NDAs JAN-FEB 2024

The Misogyny in Music report was published earlier this week. image

The Misogyny in Music report was published earlier this week.

NDAs make everything worse image

NDAs make everything worse

The Post Office scandal shines an unforgiving light on NDA abuse image

The Post Office scandal shines an unforgiving light on NDA abuse

How NDAs silence victims and let perpetrators off the hook image

How NDAs silence victims and let perpetrators off the hook

CBMS Canada and UK Update December 2023 image

CBMS Canada and UK Update December 2023

Editorial: It's time to kill the NDA image

Editorial: It's time to kill the NDA

Zelda Perkins: Twenty-five years of ‘being in the wilderness’ - and a campaign to end NDAs image

Zelda Perkins: Twenty-five years of ‘being in the wilderness’ - and a campaign to end NDAs

Time for N.S. government to join Acadia, King's Collegein banning abuse of NDAs, Chender says image

Time for N.S. government to join Acadia, King's Collegein banning abuse of NDAs, Chender says

Two Nova Scotian Universities pledge to “Can’t Buy My Silence” campaign image

Two Nova Scotian Universities pledge to “Can’t Buy My Silence” campaign

Woman who exposed Harvey Weinstein calls for end to non-disclosure agreements in music industry image

Woman who exposed Harvey Weinstein calls for end to non-disclosure agreements in music industry

Sexism in the City: Sexual harassment still 'prevalent' in Square Mile with victims 'silenced' by use of NDAs image

Sexism in the City: Sexual harassment still 'prevalent' in Square Mile with victims 'silenced' by use of NDAs

Bank cut my bonus because I had a baby, says MP leading City sexism inquiry image

Bank cut my bonus because I had a baby, says MP leading City sexism inquiry

‘It’s like being gaslit’: Former PA tells of ordeal of being sworn to secrecy to shield Harvey Weinstein image

‘It’s like being gaslit’: Former PA tells of ordeal of being sworn to secrecy to shield Harvey Weinstein

CBMS in the NEWS UK, Septemeber 18-24, 2023 image

CBMS in the NEWS UK, Septemeber 18-24, 2023

I was silenced by Harvey Weinstein – we must change the law protecting predators image

I was silenced by Harvey Weinstein – we must change the law protecting predators

Fearless woman determined to fight the Harvey Weinsteins of the world image

Fearless woman determined to fight the Harvey Weinsteins of the world

CBMS in the NEWS, September 18-24, 2023 image

CBMS in the NEWS, September 18-24, 2023

Zelda Perkins on BBC News image

Zelda Perkins on BBC News

Non-Disclosure Agreements at Media Outlets Like ITN Allow ‘Toxic Environments’ and Harassment to Fester, Senior MP Says image

Non-Disclosure Agreements at Media Outlets Like ITN Allow ‘Toxic Environments’ and Harassment to Fester, Senior MP Says

Bar Council to meet Can’t Buy My Silence over NDAs image

Bar Council to meet Can’t Buy My Silence over NDAs

Exclusive: Weinstein whistleblower attacks Bar Council over NDAs stance image

Exclusive: Weinstein whistleblower attacks Bar Council over NDAs stance

Why the Bar Council has got it badly wrong over NDAs image

Why the Bar Council has got it badly wrong over NDAs

Weaponizing Legal Instruments to Protect the Guilty image

Weaponizing Legal Instruments to Protect the Guilty

Zelda Perkins on Toxic Worplace Culture image

Zelda Perkins on Toxic Worplace Culture

2 women who complained about harassment at UPEI permanently released from silencing deals image

2 women who complained about harassment at UPEI permanently released from silencing deals

CBMS Canada July 2023 Update image

CBMS Canada July 2023 Update

Rhode Island Governor Signs Ban on Nondisclosure, Non-Disparagement Agreements image

Rhode Island Governor Signs Ban on Nondisclosure, Non-Disparagement Agreements

Odey’s Downfall Shows How Far Women Have to Go in City of London image

Odey’s Downfall Shows How Far Women Have to Go in City of London

Britain is falling behind when it comes to the misuse of NDAs image

Britain is falling behind when it comes to the misuse of NDAs

Could the UPEI harassment report help make NDAS a thing of the past? image

Could the UPEI harassment report help make NDAS a thing of the past?

Report on UPEI allegations describes 'dire, toxic' issues, calls for 'urgent action' image

Report on UPEI allegations describes 'dire, toxic' issues, calls for 'urgent action'

NDAs aimed to protect trade secrets. Now they're often hiding bad behaviour, says prof image

NDAs aimed to protect trade secrets. Now they're often hiding bad behaviour, says prof

Canada unveils reforms in bid to enhance safe sport practices image

Canada unveils reforms in bid to enhance safe sport practices

Role of lawyers in misuse of NDAs to be examined by UK regulator image

Role of lawyers in misuse of NDAs to be examined by UK regulator

Fordham’s Graduate Student Workers Union Addresses Nondisclosure Agreements image

Fordham’s Graduate Student Workers Union Addresses Nondisclosure Agreements

CBMS UPDATE APRIL 2023 image

CBMS UPDATE APRIL 2023

NDAs and a culture of silence image

NDAs and a culture of silence

Furstenau gets ball rolling on curbing NDAs image

Furstenau gets ball rolling on curbing NDAs

A Call to End the Use of Nondisclosure Agreements, or NDAs, in Massachusetts  image

A Call to End the Use of Nondisclosure Agreements, or NDAs, in Massachusetts

N.S. opposition parties call for legislation limiting NDAs for sexual assault, harassment cases image

N.S. opposition parties call for legislation limiting NDAs for sexual assault, harassment cases

Greens Take Lead to Stop NDAs from Silencing Victims image

Greens Take Lead to Stop NDAs from Silencing Victims

NY State Senate Passes Ban on Secret Deals image

NY State Senate Passes Ban on Secret Deals

Misuse of NDAs focus of Can’t Buy My Silence image

Misuse of NDAs focus of Can’t Buy My Silence

Canadian Bar Association Votes Overwhelmingly To End Abuse Of NDAs image

Canadian Bar Association Votes Overwhelmingly To End Abuse Of NDAs

Canadian Bar Association votes to advocate to end misuse of NDAS coverage image

Canadian Bar Association votes to advocate to end misuse of NDAS coverage

Regulators plan new work on lawyers’ misuse of NDAs image

Regulators plan new work on lawyers’ misuse of NDAs

 Samantha Morton Breaks Down Her Pivotal Role in ‘She Said’ and Capturing the Essence of Zelda Perkins  image

Samantha Morton Breaks Down Her Pivotal Role in ‘She Said’ and Capturing the Essence of Zelda Perkins

CBMS UPDATE NOV 2022 image

CBMS UPDATE NOV 2022

Tragic consequences of non-disclosure agreements image

Tragic consequences of non-disclosure agreements

A Resolution to Limit Use of NDA's up for debate at the CBA Annual Meeting in February. image

A Resolution to Limit Use of NDA's up for debate at the CBA Annual Meeting in February.

CBMS July 2022 Update  image

CBMS July 2022 Update

An NDA from Harvey Weinstein cost me my career – at last, banning them feels within reach image

An NDA from Harvey Weinstein cost me my career – at last, banning them feels within reach

Biden signs law curbing nondisclosure agreements that block victims of sexual harassment from speaking out image

Biden signs law curbing nondisclosure agreements that block victims of sexual harassment from speaking out

Ontario, lawyer hails victory on university, college use of non-disclosure agreements  image

Ontario, lawyer hails victory on university, college use of non-disclosure agreements

Times Up UK backs campaign Cant Buy My Silence image

Times Up UK backs campaign Cant Buy My Silence

"She Said" Screening UK Q&A with Emily Maitlis, Sam Morton, Zelda Perkins

London (Ontario) lawyer fights university, college use of non-disclosure agreements  image

London (Ontario) lawyer fights university, college use of non-disclosure agreements

Mark Stephens, Zelda Perkins discuss NDAs & Dominic Raab image

Mark Stephens, Zelda Perkins discuss NDAs & Dominic Raab

‘She Said’ Filmmakers and Weinstein Victims: An Emotional Collaboration image

‘She Said’ Filmmakers and Weinstein Victims: An Emotional Collaboration

I knew Harvey was a monster after he tried to rape my colleague. But when I spoke out I was silenced image

I knew Harvey was a monster after he tried to rape my colleague. But when I spoke out I was silenced

Halifax Roundtable on NDAs

Has the Use of NDA's Gone Too Far? Halifax Roundtable

Expert Panel on Abuse of NDA'S IN MOVA SCOTIA image

Expert Panel on Abuse of NDA'S IN MOVA SCOTIA

People silenced by non-disclosure agreements speak out at hearing for Manitoba Liberal bill image

People silenced by non-disclosure agreements speak out at hearing for Manitoba Liberal bill

 Can’t Buy My Silence to Host Exclusive Preview Screening of “She Said” in LondonPost 130 image

Can’t Buy My Silence to Host Exclusive Preview Screening of “She Said” in LondonPost 130

Banning the use of NDA' in Nova Scotia and Elsewhere image

Banning the use of NDA' in Nova Scotia and Elsewhere

Premier says people aren't 'forced' to sign NDAs; advocates say coercion a factor image

Premier says people aren't 'forced' to sign NDAs; advocates say coercion a factor

Ontario to end secrecy behind campus sexual misconduct cases and let universities fire faculty who abuse students image

Ontario to end secrecy behind campus sexual misconduct cases and let universities fire faculty who abuse students

A man was charged with her sexual assault 3 years ago. He's never been extradited image

A man was charged with her sexual assault 3 years ago. He's never been extradited

Ontario to ban NDAs in sexual misconduct cases by staff at colleges, universities image

Ontario to ban NDAs in sexual misconduct cases by staff at colleges, universities

MLA who sponsored P.E.I.'s non-disclosure agreement bill says N.S. should act now image

MLA who sponsored P.E.I.'s non-disclosure agreement bill says N.S. should act now

Trauma therapist calls for ban on NDAs for sexual assault survivors image

Trauma therapist calls for ban on NDAs for sexual assault survivors

BBC Radio 5 With Naga Munchetty image

BBC Radio 5 With Naga Munchetty

Lawyers need to redraw ethical boundaries “or face external action” image

Lawyers need to redraw ethical boundaries “or face external action”

Weinstein whistleblower: ‘nothing has changed’ on NDA rules image

Weinstein whistleblower: ‘nothing has changed’ on NDA rules

Reforming NDAs should be top of Liz Truss’s agenda image

Reforming NDAs should be top of Liz Truss’s agenda

Liberal bill targets ‘legalized hush money’ image

Liberal bill targets ‘legalized hush money’

Watch An Animated Graphic of the NDA Story image

Watch An Animated Graphic of the NDA Story

Inquiry launched into alleged sexual harassment by union leader image

Inquiry launched into alleged sexual harassment by union leader

Grassroots campaign wants to reform ‘dangerous’ non-disclosure agreements in Canada, abroad image

Grassroots campaign wants to reform ‘dangerous’ non-disclosure agreements in Canada, abroad

Lyons backs NI universities’ pledge to end use of Non-Disclosure Agreements image

Lyons backs NI universities’ pledge to end use of Non-Disclosure Agreements

CBC HOCKEY CANADA COVERAGE image

CBC HOCKEY CANADA COVERAGE

Abuse and harassment survivors 'silenced' ... image

Abuse and harassment survivors 'silenced' ...

CTV NEWS HOCKEY CANADA COVERAGE  image

CTV NEWS HOCKEY CANADA COVERAGE

Hockey Canada comes under fire after for its handling of alleged sexual assault image

Hockey Canada comes under fire after for its handling of alleged sexual assault

WORKPLACE 'GAG ORDERS' FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT COULD BE FINISHED  image

WORKPLACE 'GAG ORDERS' FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT COULD BE FINISHED 

Workplace 'gag orders' for sexual harassment could be finished image

Workplace 'gag orders' for sexual harassment could be finished

She Said – Official Trailer Release image

She Said – Official Trailer Release

Victoria to restrict deals silencing sexual harassment victims image

Victoria to restrict deals silencing sexual harassment victims

U.K. Performers’ Union Equity Fights Back Against NDA Overreach image

U.K. Performers’ Union Equity Fights Back Against NDA Overreach

NHS ambulance service doctored documents to cover up truth about deaths image

NHS ambulance service doctored documents to cover up truth about deaths

Ending Gag Clauses image

Ending Gag Clauses

Victims no longer silenced as landmark legislation takes effect on P.E.I. image

Victims no longer silenced as landmark legislation takes effect on P.E.I.

Zelda Perkins of Can’t Buy My Silence discusses 56 MPs facing claims of sexual misconduct image

Zelda Perkins of Can’t Buy My Silence discusses 56 MPs facing claims of sexual misconduct

Lady Margaret Hall is first Oxford college to ban non-disclosure agreements image

Lady Margaret Hall is first Oxford college to ban non-disclosure agreements

How Being Legally Silenced Prolongs Workplace Trauma and PTSD image

How Being Legally Silenced Prolongs Workplace Trauma and PTSD

Whistleblowers call out Channel 4 News over ‘gagging orders’ image

Whistleblowers call out Channel 4 News over ‘gagging orders’

ITN broke vow made four years ago to end non-disclosure agreements image

ITN broke vow made four years ago to end non-disclosure agreements

Former Channel 4 News employee ‘traumatised’ after signing NDA image

Former Channel 4 News employee ‘traumatised’ after signing NDA

Channel 4 News faces questions over ‘gagging’ of female staff image

Channel 4 News faces questions over ‘gagging’ of female staff

P.E.I. could become 1st province to limit use of NDAs to silence victims of sexual misconduct image

P.E.I. could become 1st province to limit use of NDAs to silence victims of sexual misconduct

Harvey Weinstein PA says abusers still have the legal power to silence victims image

Harvey Weinstein PA says abusers still have the legal power to silence victims

Move fast to fix NDAs if you want to avoid a ban image

Move fast to fix NDAs if you want to avoid a ban

‘I had to start over, alone and silenced’: the fight to end NDA abuse image

‘I had to start over, alone and silenced’: the fight to end NDA abuse

Harvey Weinstein's Former Assistant's Mission to Ban NDAs Explained image

Harvey Weinstein's Former Assistant's Mission to Ban NDAs Explained

Whistleblowers launch campaign to end misuse of NDAs image

Whistleblowers launch campaign to end misuse of NDAs

Harvey Weinstein’s former PA: Why I want a law banning NDAs image

Harvey Weinstein’s former PA: Why I want a law banning NDAs

The Campaign to End NDAs image

The Campaign to End NDAs