The topic was raised by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who expressed in her book and subsequent events her belief that such agreements help cover up abuse by keeping victims silent. Not only does she disapprove of NDAs, but stated that she hopes the agreements are ruled unenforceable by the courts.
Ms. Katz, however, has seen first-hand the importance of confidentiality agreements in sexual harassment settlement negotiations. They help victims feel as though they can move on and find comparable work, and can ensure better settlements for plaintiffs. “Employers would not be willing to pay the kind of settlement that they pay now if they believe that all other employees would know about (it).”
There is no question that NDAs and confidentiality agreements prevent public disclosure of harassers’ and abusers’ behavior, but victims shouldn’t have to sacrifice even more in order to fix the culture.
“The onus should not be on the person who’s brought a claim to protect women in the future from sexual harassment. That’s the job of the employer.”
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