#MeToo and non-disclosure agreements

The #MeToo movement is targeting the enforcement of non-disclosure agreenents that cover issues of sexual harassment. Why should these agreements be enforceable? They require the heavy hand of big government to silence people who decide to speak. Maybe coercing people to abide by their promises to not speak about things like Coca-Cola’s secret formula or Intel’s methods of silicon design can be justified, but those cases would be exceptions.

Several state legislatures have already introduced bills that would take the teeth out of non-disclosure clauses. A win for freedom.


Why should the big hand of government step in if someone takes a job with Coke-Cola and then memorizes the formula and leaves to sell it to the highest bidder?


Trade secrets are already protected via the Defend Trade Secrets Act.

NDAs are a different animal.

Why should two people not be able to enter into a consensual agreement?

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It’s a messy business. It’s already the case that unenforceable clauses are added to contracts as a matter of practice because the average joe doesn’t really know any better and because they may have to accept whatever terms are offered anyway. Companies know that some people will not find out that the contracts they’ve signed are actually unenforceable or will be prohibited by cost to defend themselves upon learning differently.

Kind of like the way they put those signs on the backs of trucks even though they can be held responsible. They count on us assuming that it must be legit if it’s on a real sign.

I don’t understand how it’s legal to do that or why the media doesn’t alert the public.

Because the big hand of government has always enforced property rights.


Sexual harassment is or should be at least a tort. I am surprised if any state would enforce such an agreement, as a matter of public policy.

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It’s a business interest that doesn’t feel unconscionable in a way that censoring people from saying they have transgressed against dorles not.

What I’m proposing doesn’t affect that. Why should someone be coerced into keeping their promises. Remember, if you support the enforcement of these non-disclosure agreements, then you support violently silencing (a certain class of) victims of sexual harassment.

Sorry. Did not know this had anything to do with sexual harassment

One of the outlandish claims from opponents of bills that would make these non-disclosure and mandatory arbitrations agreement unenforceable is that these bills would have the effect of hurting women. Oh, so you guys know what’s best for them now? Complaining that a particular policy is someone knowing what’s best for an individual is a tàctic that pro-business types have used against consumer protection and labor rights, but it’s really the pro-business types that are exhibiting a paternalist/“we know what’s best for you” attitude.

LOL well if you are old like me #me too really means, pound me too.

The expense to defend against a frivolous sexual harassment charge is extreme. If one automatically assumes that the charge is justified, I can understand this targeting but often enough, it isn’t. There are two sides to this and I can understand both. I’d tend to think if it’s in the agreement, I can choose to pass on the job…is…the fairest approach.

Nah. Just ban the clauses.

Yup. Should have been more careful choosing a name for the movement.

Ok…now a disgruntled female employee decides to make a frivolous charge of sexual harassment. Is there anyone who wouldn’t believe her? You do understand that to hire a defense lawyer for this is a minimal charge of $20,000.00 and who knows about the cost of damage to your reputation? If you win, so what? Do you think that will be in the newspaper? Do you think you’ll get your money back from someone who is unemployed? There’s merit to both sides my friend.

There is much more merit to my side.

Call it a number sign or a hash tag is more common. Also, way to show off your non-concern.

IMHO, a nondisclosure agreement that hushes up crimes is unenforceable anyway. IMHO, it would constitute conspiracy to cover up the crime. (i.e. some version of obstruction of justice).