Employment & Labour

Ban NDAs in workplace discrimination, harassment claims: MacDonald

By Patricia MacInnis, AdvocateDaily.com Senior Editor

Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that are used to cover up discrimination, retaliation or harassment should be banned, Toronto employment lawyer Natalie MacDonald tells Global News.

MacDonald, principal of MacDonald & Associates, is representing a law professor who’s being sued for defamation by a former colleague after sharing the circumstances of his departure with his new employer, the online news site reports. She says although there has been some relaxing of NDA restrictions, it’s still “pretty heavy-handed."

“We need to have a banning on issues of confidentiality, on NDAs in cases of workplace harassment, discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault unless it’s specifically requested by the plaintiff,” MacDonald says.

“Without that ban, the perpetrator will go to another location or another job and do it again,” she says. “They’ll be able to get away with it given that it’s all under wraps.”

The article reports that MacDonald’s client questions the legitimacy of gag orders, particularly in school environments that have a duty to protect students’ safety.

“Generally speaking, you can’t enforce an agreement in which somebody agrees not to report a crime,” the woman says.

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