Less Odious NDAs

Wading into the crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg faced sharp attacks for his company’s use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to ensure the confidentiality of settled sex discrimination claims. President Trump received similar criticism following Stormy Daniels’ allegations four years ago. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, NDAs strike some as oppressive tools synonymous with a cover-up culture that silences putative victims of sexual harassment or discrimination.

Notwithstanding the potential for their misuse … and acknowledging the healthy debate about their proper limits … NDAs continue to serve necessary and appropriate purposes in a variety of contexts. If your company or you face any of the following situations, you might want to secure an NDA:

  • Discussions about a proposed joint business venture
  • Sharing technology or intellectual property with potential investors or customers
  • Providing financial data or other information to a prospective purchaser
  • Employment contracts with key personnel who have access to sensitive data

And yes, whether you are the one bringing the claim or the one defending it, most legal settlements will include some form of non-disclosure or confidentiality.

Mr. Bloomberg recently announced he will release at least some former employees from their NDAs. And maybe that’s an appropriate expectation of someone seeking the highest office in the land. For the rest of us, we still need to be mindful of times and circumstances where NDAs serve a necessary purpose.

Have questions about using NDAs? Please contact our office at info@wrightbeamer.com or (248) 477-6300.