29. September 2021

Non Disclosure Agreement Case Law

Filed under: Allgemein — @ 09:07

This was highlighted recently when the Guardian revealed that over the past 5 years, 48 UK universities had forced 3,722 former employees to sign NDAs, known as „compromise agreements“ to accept their severance pay. The fact that organizations, from large corporations to government to universities, often use NDAs underscores their wide use in almost all sectors of the economy and the public sector. This case raises broader questions about the ability of those with power, wealth and influence to behave inappropriately and appear scandal-free. Another area in which this is the case is the repression of professional and entrepreneurial misconduct. Employees or individuals who discover evidence of corporate misconduct and attempt to report it to senior bodies, industry supervisory authorities or the press may be pressured to sign NDAs under the threat of job loss, costly legal action, or the offer of large packages of severance pay. Employers may ask you to execute this type of restrictive agreement as a prerequisite for your employment before you start working so that they can keep the information confidential. Other organizations may ask you to agree to the privacy policy upon termination as part of a severance pay agreement. If you violate the provisions of a legally binding confidentiality agreement, your employer may obtain a cease order to prevent you from continuing to participate in illegal activities. In addition, in certain circumstances, an employer may bring an action for financial damages for all losses related to your breach of confidentiality obligations. Note that Massachusetts law allows a court to double the amount of damages if the judge deems it appropriate. In short, such cases blur the line between ethical behavior and the correct implementation of the law. An employer`s best interest should always match that of its employees. However, the use of NDAs to exploit and silence employees turns the moral compass against NDAs and makes them sources of legal protection from sources of institutionalized harassment.

Use in NDDs in the right context, both economically and morally, would serve as an ideal legal instrument. As I said first, NDAs have recently been highlighted in the news as a tool used by the rich and powerful to silence victims of sexual harassment. This issue was considered by the Court of Appeal in the ABC case and others v Telegraph Media Group Ltd [2018], in which the applicant had succeeded in suppressing in summary proceedings the Telegraph`s story about the claims against them. . . .

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