- Daniel Wiessner, “US lawyers reconsider confidentiality agreements in sexual harassment claims,” The Christian Science Monitor, December 19, 2017.
“Wendy Netter Epstein, associate professor at DePaul University College of Law, says that the problem with using non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements in cases involving sexual harassment or abuse is that one party tends to have more bargaining power than the other.”
- Paul Caine, “Critics Say Non-Disclosure Agreements Enable Abuse,” Chicago Tonight, February 12, 2018.
|THIS AGREEMENT is made on _________________||[Redacted]|
- [Name Redacted], hereinafter “the Releasor”; and
- [Name Redacted] & Co, hereinafter “the Releasee,”
collectively referred to herein as the “Parties.”
- The Releasee understands that the Releasor may disclose via screaming in a stall of the Releasee’s Women’s Restroom, half-articulate yet still overhearable crying to her mother on her iPhone, self-medicatingly drunken texting to a college friend, horrifyingly detailed complaint-making to a journalist, and/or engaging in other forms of post-traumatic candor that must be suppressed through legally binding mechanisms as soon as possible, information relating to an alleged sexual assault, which the Releasee does not admit occurred, and never really happened, but which may have been performed upon the Releasor’s person in a hotel room during an ill-advised “meeting” that an employee of the Releasee, hereinafter referred to as “the Rainmaking Partner,” held with her in order to hammer out details about his wealth, maleness, social status, and consequent license to socialize in a lively manner with female subordinates, and which is hereinafter referred to as “Confidential Information.”
- In consideration of the agreement by the Releasor never to disclose via conversation, text, email, or suicide note, to any animal, vegetable, or mineral, even a single word about the Confidential Information, and release, remise, and forever discharge her claims, demands, actions, causes of actions, liabilities, obligations, losses, damages, costs, and expenses, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, of whatever kind or nature against the Releasee, as well as the Releasor’s concomitant sale of an indeterminate percentage of her dignity, peace of mind, confidence in the criminal justice system, breasts, legs, vagina, mouth, breath, sleep, dreams, power, voice, self-esteem as a “priceless” minority/transgender/queer/disabled woman (if that is her thing), hope of ever attaining the position of Partner at the company of the Releasee, happiness, mental health, faith in other people generally speaking, and the ability of other women or vulnerable people seeking employment opportunities at the Releasee’s company to discover, from hearing the Releasor’s story of abuse, that it is more dangerous to work for the Releasee than to jump out of an airplane or play with poisonous snakes, the Releasee hereby agrees to pay the Releasor a sum not exceeding [redacted], receipt of which is hereby acknowledged in this Non-Disclosure Agreement, hereinafter “NDA.”
- The Releasor is, however, permitted to disclose that she was employed by the Releasee, and to communicate in vague but convincing terms the excitingly challenging nature of the work that she performed for the Releasee. Compliments to the Rainmaking Partner’s negotiating prowess and superb managerial talents are also permitted, as the Rainmaking Partner will, of course, be staying on at the Releasee’s company and would certainly appreciate the sort of smiling praise that groomed, frightened, and barely paid-off women such as the Releasor are so good at lavishing upon potentially reputation-, career-, and thus life-destroying titans of industry, as is the Rainmaking Partner, who enjoys friendly contacts and leverage with behemoth multinationals all around the world.
- The obligations under this NDA will continue in effect for as long as the Releasor remains rightfully terrified of the mysterious workings of the Releasee’s tentacular influence upon the wide worlds of entertainment, law, business, philanthropy, science, medicine, the press, engineering, the global economy, law enforcement, and politics, or until the Releasor grows so old and unattractive and socially useless that no one will care about her stories of sexual assault, whichever comes later.
- The Releasor and the Releasee hereto acknowledge and agree that in the event that the Releasor violates her obligations under §1 of this Agreement out of some misguided impulse to “speak truth to power,” the amount of loss or damages likely to be incurred by the Releasee is difficult to precisely estimate, and thus shall be set at a level that shall be sure to reopen the Releasor’s psychological scars while also felicitously financially ruining her along with her children, parents, spouse(s), and other dependents, an amount that the Releasor herein admits would nevertheless not constitute a penalty that is plainly or grossly disproportionate to the probable loss likely to be incurred by the Releasee in connection with the Releasor’s failure to remember her proper place and keep her damn mouth shut.
|By: _________________________________||By: _________________________________|
|Name: ______________________________||Name: ______________________________|
|Title (if still applies): _______________________________||Title: _______________________________|
|Address (if moving to a cheaper apartment due to loss/quitting of job provide new location): ____________________________||Address: ____________________________|
|Date: _______________________________||Date: _______________________________|
This is a work of parodic fiction inspired by recent news reports. It engages the widespread systems of workplace sexual harassment, assault, and non-disclosure that have been revealed by the #MeToo movement in recent months.
Yxta Maya Murray has experienced sexual assault at the hands of a professional superior, in the field of the arts. Her opinions are her own.