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Who does and who doesn’t use non-disclosure agreements in their campaigns?

Friday, Sep 28, 2018

* I sent this e-mail to all Democratic and Republican statewide campaigns and both state parties earlier this week…

As you may know, the Illinois Anti-Harassment, Equality and Access panel’s report recommends that campaigns not use non-disclosure agreements and mandatory arbitration. A panel spokesperson told me, however, that the report “isn’t calling for campaigns to not sign NDAs at all, but just when it comes to settling sexual harassment issues.” https://capitolfax.com/2018/09/26/panel-recommends-not-using-non-disclosure-agreements-and-mandatory-arbitration/

    1) Does your campaign (or state party, as the case may be) utilize non-disclosure agreements that would in any way preclude, hinder or discourage campaign staff, volunteers etc. from reporting or speaking out about instances of sexual harassment? Please provide any NDA language to support your claim.

    2) Does your campaign (or state party, as the case may be) utilize mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment complaints, reports, claims? Please provide any mandatory arbitration language to support your claim.

The deadline was today at noon. Responses listed in the order they were received.

* Aviva Bowen from the Kwame Raoul campaign…

1. Nothing in our NDA (attached for background) would discourage someone from speaking out or reporting sexual harassment, particularly when coupled with our sexual harassment policy (also attached) and requirement that all campaign staff take anti-harassment training, for which they receive a certificate of completion.

2. No, we do not have any mandatory arbitration provisions.

Further, as you know I am on leave from the IFT, where I serve as the Ethics Officer. I bring to the campaign my additional training and experience in this role.

The campaign’s harassment policy (which she included along with the NDA) ensures that anyone speaking out will not be subjected to retaliation. That, she explained, would negate the NDA.

* Jason Helland

My campaign does not use any NDAs and we do not utilize mandatory arbitration.

* Will Allison at the Bruce Rauner campaign…

1. No.
2. No.

* Kara Highfill at the Michael Frerichs campaign…

All full-time staff on the Frerichs campaign including Frerichs have signed the framework policy provided by the AHEA panel. I added a clause to that policy that outlines that the Frerichs campaign does not utilize NDA agreements or mandatory arbitration clauses.

* Aaron Degroot at the Erika Harold campaign…

That’s a no on both questions for Citizens For Erika Harold.

* Travis Sterling at the Illinois Republican Party

1. The Illinois Republican Party from time to time utilizes confidentiality agreements that seek to preserve the confidentiality of sensitive political information (plans, processes and the like) that may be disclosed to an intern or employee. In no way would (or could) such an agreement be interpreted to hinder any person from speaking out against or reporting an instance of sexual harassment.

2. No, the Illinois Republican Party does not utilize mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment complaints.

* Christie Lacey at the Susana Mendoza campaign…

No & no.

* Sam Salustro at the Democratic Party of Illinois

Under our current policies, DPI does not use non-disclosure agreements or utilize mandatory arbitration.

* Rocco Claps at the Jesse White campaign…

No.

No.

* Galia Slayen at the JB Pritzker campaign…

1. Like most political campaigns, our campaign does have staff sign a privacy agreement to protect strategic campaign information. There is no expectation or mention of keeping information about sexual harassment private. All staff are required to receive sexual harassment training and our campaign has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or retaliation of any kind.

2. No.

* Darlene Senger

1) No, we don’t use NDAs.

2) No, we don’t use mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment complaints

I never heard back from Jim Dodge.

…Adding… There was an internal mixup, so here’s Dodge’s response…

We don’t use NDAs. We do not require mandatory arbitration.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

4 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 12:49 pm:

    No expectation, that isn’t the same as having it in writing.


  2. - Ahem - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 12:53 pm:

    Ask Brad Schneider’s campaign, they’ll give you an interesting answer.


  3. - Anon - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    On a slightly different topic, Rep. Ammons and Sen. Bush appeared on Chicago Tonight. There was an odd bit in the interview, where Rep. Ammons appeared to refer to Alaina Hampton as “Hamilton”.
    https://news.wttw.com/2018/09/26/new-report-highlights-harassment-illinois-politics

    This follows an interview several months ago where both Rep. Cassidy and Sen. Steans appeared to avoid referring to Alaina Hampton by name.
    https://news.wttw.com/2018/02/22/madigan-under-fire-handling-harassment-claims

    One might wonder if Dems in Springfield are reluctant for some reason to say Alaina Hampton’s name. Or perhaps it’s just a coincidence.


  4. - Anon - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 3:21 pm:

    Perhaps as an aside, all campaigns should be requiring their staff to sign some kind of privacy agreement regarding the use, storing, or accessing of voter file data — and should probably be creating internal standards for data ethics.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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