15 Percent of Tech Workers Silenced by an NDA

FEATURED IMAGE | Source: Teamblind Inc.

Non-disclosure agreements (or NDAs) have become a standard feature of employment contracts and severance packages. Data shows that over one-third of U.S. workers are bound by an NDA. Businesses will require employees to sign these agreements in order to protect trade secrets and confidential information. However, NDAs are sometimes abused to silence workers about misconduct that happens in the workplace. These days, it’s not uncommon for NDAs to include a non-disparagement clause, which keeps employees from saying anything negative about the company or its executives, under the guise of protecting company secrets.

Several posts about non-disclosure agreements can be found on Blind. In March, a user asked for clarity regarding their rights after having been let go from a startup, coincidentally after reporting sexual harassment. According to the user, “I was immediately presented with a severance which I would only get if I signed a non disclosure agreement and I had to make the decision right then and there. I felt like I had no choice, because I didn’t make much money and was barely getting by.”

To get a better idea of how often NDAs are abused in the tech industry, we presented a new survey to our community of tech professionals on Blind. What we discovered is that only 15.30 percent of surveyed workers claim that an NDA silenced them from speaking up about important workplace issues. The full details of the survey are below.

The Survey and Overall Results

At my current company, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) has silenced me or my coworker(s) from speaking up about important issues.

A) True – 15.30%

B) False – 53.60%

C) I don’t know – 31.10%

Total Participants: 10,242

Survey Dates: August 23, 2018 – August 30, 2018

Company Results

In addition to the overall results, we also broke down our survey data by company. Below is a list of the 26 companies that tallied up with the most survey responses. Much like the overall numbers, the individual company results show that a minor percentage of employees claim that an NDA has prevented them from speaking up about important workplace matters. Tesla has the highest percentage of employees who claim of having been silenced, with 30 percent. On the other end of the spectrum, LinkedIn ranks the lowest with just over 7 percent.

Results for answer (A) by company:

  • Tesla – 30.00%
  • Intel – 20.74%
  • Amazon – 20.25%
  • Airbnb – 16.36%
  • Apple – 15.79%
  • Uber – 15.73%
  • Oracle – 15.24%
  • Veritas – 15.15%
  • Facebook – 14.80%
  • Cisco – 14.46%
  • eBay – 14.44%
  • Qualtrics – 14.00%
  • Lyft – 13.85%
  • SAP – 13.73%
  • Microsoft – 13.01%
  • Booking.com – 12.50%
  • PayPal – 12.50%
  • Google – 11.76%
  • VMware – 11.67%
  • Intuit – 11.27%
  • Expedia – 10.47%
  • Adobe – 9.80%
  • Nvidia – 9.80%
  • Oath – 9.62%
  • Salesforce – 9.32%
  • LinkedIn – 7.25%

What do you think of the latest survey results? Comment below or send us a tweet!

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