The Culture of Silence: The Impact of #metoo on Nondisclosure Agreements

Photo Credit: https://questfusion.com/non-disclosure-agreements-critical-startup/

By: Whitney Lott

Associate Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

Introduction

While the #MeToo movement has forced national reflection, a new enemy of safety in the workplace has come to light: the nondisclosure agreement.  Nondisclosure agreements, once an anomaly of the tech industry, are now taking center stage in the national consciousness with its connection to the #Metoo movement. Employers of predators must now take stock if they are partially to blame for the culture of silence surrounding abuse in their companies due to the proliferation of these nondisclosure agreements. The use of nondisclosure provisions or confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements has forced victims of sexual misconduct, including the victims of Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly and even Larry Nassar, to remain silent on matters concerning the sexual abuse or harassment perpetrated on them.[1] Continue reading The Culture of Silence: The Impact of #metoo on Nondisclosure Agreements

Black (enough?) Letter Law: What’s the Threshold to Qualify for Minority Race Status?

By Averie Armstead

Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy


Ralph Taylor is a 55-year-old who has lived majority of his life as a white man.[1] In 2010, the Lynnwood, Washington citizen took a home DNA test, and now Taylor identifies as multiracial.[2] The DNA test “estimated he was 90 percent Caucasian, 6 percent indigenous American and 4 percent Sub-Saharan African.”[3] After receiving the results, Taylor applied for state certification so his company, Orion Insurance Group, would be considered a minority-owned business.[4] The Washington Office of Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) approved Taylor’s application because there was no criteria to define a threshold to qualify for minority race or ethnicity.[5] However, Taylor’s Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) application was denied for failure to provide sufficient evidence that he was a member of a recognized racial minority group.[6] Taylor filed suit in the United States District Court of the Western District of Washington.[7] Continue reading Black (enough?) Letter Law: What’s the Threshold to Qualify for Minority Race Status?