How Silicon Valley silences sexual harassment victims


Even as Silicon Valley applauds the bravery of more than a dozen women who have come forward to report sexual harassment in recent weeks, some tech companies and VC firms muzzle their own employees with policies that prevent them from speaking out.

Tech workers often sign non-disclosure agreements promising not to reveal trade secrets, but in addition to those standard NDAs, some lawyers say Bay Area companies also are using non-disparagement clauses to gag employees who experience harassment. Add that to the reluctance of many women to speak up for fear of reprisals, and experts say the vast majority of sexual harassment stays in the shadows — making meaningful change difficult.

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