Got an NDA at your tech job? We want to hear from you.
- We're pulling back the curtain in a first-of-its-kind project examining Silicon Valley secrecy.
- Want to participate in our reporting process? Please consider sending us a copy of your
It's no secret that much of what goes on every day in Silicon Valley is, well, secret. In an effort to pierce through how and why nondisclosure agreements have become such a bedrock of Silicon Valley culture, Insider is collecting copies of NDAs from workers. And we're doing it during Sunshine Week, a national collective effort to improve government transparency and combat excessive secrecy, spearheaded by the News Leaders Association and adopted by dozens of open-government groups.
The idea is simple: to apply the same transparency principles of
Want to participate in our reporting process? Please consider sending us a copy of your NDA.
We realize that this is a sensitive topic; many of you might be wondering what is out there in these agreements or how yours stacks up. By sharing a copy of your NDA, you can help Insider place it in the larger context of the tech industry's culture of secrecy. And we will do everything in our power to protect your identity should you wish to remain anonymous. I talk to anonymous sources every day - I wouldn't be able to do my job without them. Ready to help?
Send me a copy of your nondisclosure agreement via any of these methods.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Encrypted text via Signal, WhatsApp or Telegram: +1(626) 233-1063
- Snail mail:
Attn: Matt Drange
535 Mission Street, 14th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
Regardless of which method you choose, Insider's default handling of your agreement will be to keep your identity confidential. In other words, unless you give us your consent, your name will not appear in connection with this project.
We are analyzing both of the most common types of nondisclosure agreements: the general agreements you sign when starting a job, as well as the specific, often superseding agreements that are sometimes reached when you leave a job. In many cases, these agreements include strict confidentiality provisions about experiences on the job and/or "clawback" provisions tied to compensation.
I often hear from sources who are unsure what they can and cannot say as a result of their NDAs, sometimes years after they've left a prior job. In many cases, these agreements have the practical effect of silencing employees trying to blow the whistle about sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation and other forms of workplace discrimination.
My aim at Insider is to bring this important discussion to the surface and figure out how broad and, in some cases, overreaching, nondisclosure agreements have become. In recent years the practice of using these agreements has come under scrutiny, in large part because of the increased attention and awareness surrounding workplace harassment and misconduct brought about by the #MeToo movement. And yet, discussions among rank-and-file tech employees about NDAs largely take place in the shadows.
How does your nondisclosure agreement compare to your friends'? How do agreements differ from large, publicly traded companies to small, lean
I'll work hard to answer these questions and many more. With your help, I'll be able to provide insight and common knowledge across an often-opaque industry. In short: We can build a community together around transparency.
Do you have a story about discrimination or harassment in the workplace? Help inform my reporting and get in touch with me directly, at email@example.com or by leaving me a voicemail message at +1(646) 376-6021.
Of course, I can't provide legal advice about an agreement's provisions or enforceability or tell you how you should navigate an HR situation at work. (You should consult with a lawyer for specific questions there.) But with your help, I can assemble an informed, detailed report about the role of nondisclosure agreements in the modern workplace, including challenges and tensions arising from them and what your company is, or isn't, doing to address it.
I look forward to reporting back what I learn soon. In the meantime, happy Sunshine Week.
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