For unpaid interns on Capitol Hill, secrecy is so much a part of the job that on their first day, many are required to sign sweeping nondisclosure agreements. Employment lawyers reviewed two Hill NDAs obtained by Vox and said they are written in a way that could discourage interns from speaking up about anything, potentially protecting members of Congress and their staff even in cases of harassment or abuse. ... In interviews, 20 current and former Capitol Hill interns said they signed NDAs while working in Republican and Democratic offices in the House and Senate. Vox agreed not to publish their names because they feared professional repercussions, especially given that they signed the agreements.
Most of the interns who reported signing an NDA said the document was presented to them on their first day. They signed it but never received a copy and didn't have a chance to show it to a lawyer or anyone else. Most interns are 18- to 22-year-old students, unlikely to have much exposure to NDAs.
"That they're not allowed to take these things home, I find that to be unscrupulous," said [employment lawyer Les] Alderman.
Unscrupulous - a adjective that goes with virtually every politician in the game.
It's either sign and work or don't sign and go home and explain to whoever pulled the strings to get you the "job" that they wouldn't let you take an unsigned NDA copy, have a copy reviewed or even give you a copy of what you signed. Betting most of these kids are ambitious or at least whoever is pulling their strings is.
I'm not sure how enforceable these would be.
An NDA is a contract. Unless the intern is receiving something of value, the NDA wouldn't be valid.
In addition, putting them in a position where they can't review the NDA with counsel could present a problem.
NDA's are their scare move because of the "legal" insider trading, graft and essentially outright theft. I believe congress is not worth the air they steal.
I really don't understand the NDA thing. Especially as it pertains to illegal and unethical behavior. Are people such wusses and so materially obsessed that the threat of being sued is enough to keep them from telling what they know? It must suck being such a lame human being.
#4 | Posted by TFDNihilist
People? Well there is Nativity for one. Another would be the idea of blackmail and 'getting ahead'. And yes if you are sued it could conceivably have irreversible life long implications. The just don't necessarily win in court - the ones with the best lawyers usually do.
Most of the interns who reported signing an NDA said the document was presented to them on their first day.
That's Congress for ya these days. The most important thing they're concerned about is "don't you dare tell anyone what happens here".
...it could conceivably have irreversible life long implications.
#5 | POSTED BY GALAXIEPETE
Doing the right thing usually does.
The focus here is on harassment and all, but the truth is that
Congressional interns deal with a lot of PII in their day to day tasks interfacing with constituent works and drafts of legislation...neither of which should be, or can be, discussed with their friends interning in DC at politico or buzzfeed..
"An NDA is a contract. Unless the intern is receiving something of value, the NDA wouldn't be valid."
That would be my understanding as well.
And since they work for free..........
"Congressional interns deal with a lot of PII in their day to day"
B.S. Laws already exist to protect PII.
This is to protect elected officials in Congress. Not interns, not anybody's PII.
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