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Speak No Evil No More? Non-Disparagement Edicts Lose Favor

May 3, 2019, 10:00 AM

The #MeToo movement and protests against large technology companies have drawn new attention to policies that discourage workers from speaking out against harassment and discrimination, forcing companies to balance the instinct to keep internal complaints quiet with increasingly persistent calls for transparency from workers.

Companies use non-disparagement clauses in employment contracts and settlement agreements to protect company information or reputation. Now, the provisions—which could require laid-off workers not to criticize a former employer, or prohibit workers from speaking ill of their boss—increasingly are seen as a way to stifle workers, leading to legislative attempts to create limits. Government agencies previously...

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