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How NDAs left the office and entered our homes

The gavel sits in front of House Rules Committee chairman Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) during a House Rules Committee hearing on the impeachment against President Donald Trump in Washington, DC.
The gavel sits in front of House Rules Committee chairman Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) during a House Rules Committee hearing on the impeachment against President Donald Trump in Washington, DC.

One legal document has quietly reigned supreme in American board rooms, film sets, and sometimes even homes: non-disclosure agreements.

Journalist Gretchen Carlson knows all too well the lengths workplace NDAs can go to silence employees, especially employees who speak out against mistreatment. Her2016sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against Roger Ailes, the former Fox Newschairmanand CEO, was one of the cases that inspired the #MeToo movement.

But NDAs aren’t just for employees anymore. More and more people around the country are using and signing these documents to protect personal, sensitive information.

A new feature from New York Magazineexploreshow NDAs have become “the defining legal document of our time.”Wespeak to the writer of that piece.

What’s fueling this move? And how will it affect our lives going forward?

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Arfie Ghedi