Debra Katz and Lisa Banks Co-Author Article on Non-Disclosure Agreements

Katz, Marshall & Banks partners Debra Katz and Lisa Banks wrote an article for NBC News, “Bloomberg nondisclosure agreement controversy misses why victims can want them.”

During last week’s Democratic debate, Senator Elizabeth Warren criticized Michael Bloomberg over his company’s use of non-disclosure agreements that prevent employees from speaking publicly about workplace harassment and discrimination. Bloomberg initially responded by insisting that employees had signed the agreements consensually and he refused to release the women from the onerous agreements. The following day, he released three women–who accused him personally of misconduct–from their NDAs.

Ms. Katz and Ms. Banks argue that this decision doesn’t address related issues. Many other employees who were victimized at his company are still muzzled by NDAs, and Bloomberg campaign staffers must sign NDAs as a condition of employment – a practice that can discourage reporting of harassment or abuse.

Despite this, a move to ban all NDAs is misguided. Ms. Katz and Ms. Banks know first-hand the value in granting victims the choice to keep their traumatic experiences private and confidential. And the option of an NDA offers important leverage to workplace discrimination victims when negotiating settlements.

Therefore, it’s important that we continue to push for the end of coercive NDAs that subject victims to monetary penalties for disclosing the misconduct they experienced, while still allowing victims to choose to sign an NDA if they wish.

Read the full article here.