It's even worse than it appears.
Friday March 6, 2020; 9:11 AM EST
  • I was CEO of a small Silicon Valley company in the 1980s. Even back then, lawyers were advising companies to settle with employees who made claims, even when the company had done nothing wrong.#
  • Here's why. Lawyers are expensive, as are trials, and some employees make a business of suing their employers, knowing that they will settle instead of contesting the claim because it's far less expensive. #
  • We only had one such claim, for age discrimination. I forget how much we paid, but it was a lot for a company our size. And it came with a mutual NDA. It wasn't to keep the employee from talking, it was to keep the company silent, because we were the ones who were harmed. After the suit was over and settled, I realized then why none of his references were willing to talk about him. He was going through the Valley, to companies who were hungry for skilled programmers, and willing to take a chance, with or without references. No doubt we weren't the last company to pay him off and accept an NDA. #
  • Also, even if there is no NDA, the laws in California and New York heavily favor the employee. So the company isn't likely to say much about a former employee it had differences with, because it could very easily turn into an expensive lawsuit. #
  • Just want to say NDAs are not nearly as simple as candidate Elizabeth Warren made them sound in the debates. I know from experience and I am not a lawyer, she is, and I'm sure she knows all about it. #

© 1994-2020 Dave Winer.

Last update: Friday March 6, 2020; 9:33 AM EST.

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