Hi everyone, wanted to come back and talk about the work environment at the Washington Redskins/Football Club -- the Washington Post story was pretty jaw dropping. One troubling angle was the use of NDAs to stifle victims. NDAs have for too long enabled bad behavior to continue, and it's time companies pledged to stop using NDAs in settlements with victims -- the coverup is worse than the bad acts. I think Warren torpedoed Bloomberg's campaign due to his use of NDAs. Thoughts?

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I agree. The use of the NDA is intended to hide the root source of bad behavior. In a transparent environment, the root cause is dealt with and while probably embarrassed, an organization that publicly deals with a serious problem in the right way sends a message to the entire organization and its partners defining what it values and standards are. In the longer term, that reduces future risk, builds a values based culture and supports a healthier working environment.

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I agree with you on the exploitation of NDAs, as there is a certain moral duty that any judicial system should adhere to around preventing re-offending, especially by powerful institutions. Even if individual victims were happy to sell their silence (and I make no judgement on them doing so), unchecked criminality impacts society as a whole.

Also, Bloomberg didn't need any help in destroying his campaign, it was the only thing he was good at.

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Hi Rob, I would agree. I refused to sign one after a partner at my firm assaulted me. And, as you say, the firm’s handling of the situation was far worse for me than the assault itself.

It takes unusual courage to handle serious sexual harassment ethically. I’ve never seen an executive who didn’t leap behind their lawyers’ skirts the moment a serious allegation arose. The complainant is seen as the source of the risk, to be mitigated, while the accused wants to quietly get on with generating revenue. The lawyers therefore isolate and remove the perceived risk. The solution, of course, is to correctly identify the real risk, and remove that.

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