Misuse Of NDAs Among Religious Organizations
When you think of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), you may think of employers in technical fields using them to protect trade secrets. However, these documents are broad-reaching and are being used for a variety of purposes. The religion field is especially known for NDAs, using them to abuse others and keep it a secret.
Well now Christians are speaking up, despite their NDAs telling them to keep mum. A group of Christians recently launched a campaign to end the misuse of these legal agreements.
Non-disclosure agreements, or confidentiality clauses, are often broad, making it hard to interpret the actual meaning of “confidential.” Many NDAs look reasonable at first, but once you dig deeper, you find that there are a lot of issues. There’s no transparency or accountability. The organizations who create them tend to use them as they wish. Plus, they are permanent, in which you can’t change your mind once you sign one.
In most cases, NDAs even prohibit someone from disclosing the non-disclosure agreement. Many people find this suffocating. In fact, some Christians have asked their ministries to release them from their NDAs, but to no avail. The result: they are speaking out against NDAs, regardless of the potential consequences.
According to the #NDAfree website, they are not alone. The site helps raise awareness about confidentiality clauses, which have become prevalent in employment situations and legal settlements. The site also offers advice to help pressure Christian organizations to end the use of these agreements. It also offers tools, such as how to ask for an NDA release and information about how organizations can evaluate the use of confidentiality clauses. It looks like the site may be helping, since several churches, including the Southern Baptist Convention, the Christian Reformed Church, and the Church of England are reconsidering their use of NDAs.
It is unknown when churches started using NDAs, but it’s not just Christian organizations that are using them. Many churches now use NDAs when hiring new employees. Even volunteers for the smallest churches are often required to sign these agreements.
NDAs are most often used by organizations in which leaders have been accused of sexual, spiritual, and other types of abuse. When Christians sign these NDAs, they don’t really know what it entails. They blindly sign these agreements, not knowing that they are forced to keep quiet about what goes on in the church. If they see abuse happening, they can’t speak up. They have to live with the knowledge of that abuse but cannot tell anyone. Many are refusing to live in silence. They are letting the world know about how the church really operates.
Learn More About Non-Disclosure Agreements
Non-disclosure agreements can be limiting and should be reserved for the technology field and other industries where trade secrets should not be shared. Using an NDA to abuse someone and keep them silent should be illegal.
Don’t sign an NDA without seeking legal help first. Such a document should not be one-sided. Orlando non-disclosure & confidentiality agreement lawyer B.F. Godfrey from Godfrey Legal can review your document and ensure your rights are being protected. Schedule a consultation by calling (407) 890-0023 or filling out the online form.