Posted BY: Stephen Baskerville
In a previous post, I described the implications for all of us if Tucker Carlson has gagged himself by signing a “non-disparagement agreement” (NDA). But NDAs are not the only method available to unethical media companies, universities, churches, and others to silence those who speak a bit too much truth.
Many contracts now contain Mandatory Arbitration (M.A.) clauses, often disguised, requiring that “employment disputes” be adjudicated in secret by private arbitrators. These can serve legitimate business purposes, by avoiding costly litigation. But they can also be used for concealment, and this is especially detrimental in fields like journalism and higher education, where free speech is essential.
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Here again, the dismissed have no recourse to publicity, because the M.A. keeps everything secret. They are instantly cut off from their salaries, courts, grievance procedures, oversight bodies — and, most importantly, collegial and public opinion. They can seek redress only in a secret commercial proceeding consisting not of professional colleagues, but of lawyers, who can be counted on to suppress ethical issues. Proceedings are closed and without record, and public disclosure can be legally punished without any apparent limitation.
Here, too, the mechanisms used to conceal are themselves concealed, and the deeds of which the employers are ashamed include using the methods of concealment.