NDAs aimed to protect trade secrets. Now they're often hiding bad behaviour, says prof
In the UK:
Legal Services Board Calls for Evidence of misuse of NDAs
UK Parliament votes through a new law that will prohibit universities from entering into NDA’s about complaints of sexual misconduct, abuse, bullying, harassment or discrimination.
Campaigners hail a major breakthrough five years since abusive NDA’s came into the public spotlight after the Harvey Weinstein revelations.
Senator Marilou McPhedran introduced a federal Bill on May 9 2023 to prevent government and government funded organizations from misusing NDAs to cover up misconduct or to enforce NDAS using public monies.
Key Points of the Can't Buy Silence Act
BC Green Party and CBMS launch petition in BC to Reform the use of Non-Disclosure Agreements
B.C. Green Party introduce bill that would ban NDAs in harassment and discrimination cases
Canadian Bar Association votes overwhelmingly to end abuse of non-disclosure agreements READ STORY HERE
Non disclosure agreements are contracts that were created to protect trade secrets but when used wrongly become secret settlement contracts used to buy the silence of a victim or whistleblower. They have become the default solution for organisations, corporations and public bodies to settle cases of sexual misconduct, racism, pregnancy discrimination and other human rights violations.
as they allow a person who has behaved abusively and possibly criminally to stay put or move with impunity to another organisation.
they protect an employer’s reputation and the career of the perpetrator, not the victim who can be protected by a simple one-sided confidentiality clause.
preventing them reporting, speaking to family and friends about their own experiences, or warning others.
about their past and in some cases require co-workers to tell lies or risk being sued for defamation.
for anyone wishing to speak up about abuse in the workplace.
Zelda Perkins and Prof. Julie Macfarlane joined forces in September 2021 to create CAN’T BUY MY SILENCE after their own shocking personal experiences exposed the harmful use of NDAs.
Their campaign goal is to stop the misuse of NDAs so that they are ONLY used for the purpose for which they were created – the protection of IP and trade secrets.
They are determined to outlaw NDAs when used to “buy” the silence of victims in order to protect sexual predators, bullies, racists and abusers. In order to put pressure on legislators they are also advocating that regulators, businesses and institutions adopt a code of practice that will not allow NDAs to hide information about harmful people, practices and products.
We are a not for profit initiative and your contribution is vital to enabling us to campaign effectively.
Your signature is vital – it has the power to make change by ensuring Governments act.
Our campaign relies on brave individuals sharing their experience so others see the damage that NDAs cause.
Create cultural change by asking your University/employer/ supplier to sign the voluntary pledge to no longer use NDAs to hide misconduct.
Writing to your MP is the best way to help us change legilation