People working on the Donald Trump presidential campaign in 2016 and for 2020 have not had it easy, because there is a side to it that people have not been able to talk about. Jessica Denson just filed a class action suit to change something that was very wrong with these two campaigns. Now, the facts are out.
Now that she has filed suit, her attorney is able to talk about the nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) and nondisparagement agreements that Trump made all of the people who worked on his campaign sign, even the volunteers.
These agreements meant they could never even criticize Trump, his family, or his company publicly. The campaigner could not disclose “private or confidential” details. She argued that the NDA was unlawful and hopes to free all of his campaigners from unfair constrictions. BuzzFeed reported
‘People cannot sue for things like workplace discrimination and harassment, unpaid wages, and violations of workplace safety laws, and for claiming violations of campaign finance laws, corruption, or fraud.’
The Trump campaign hired her as the national phone bank administrator in August 2016. Denson soon received a promotion to the director of Hispanic engagement. She said while she was on the campaign, she was “a victim of discrimination and harassment.”
The president’s campaign has sued several former staffers, who also sign NDAs including Omarosa Manigault Newman and author of Team of Vipers, Cliff Sims.
Attorneys for Denson believe “thousands of campaign staffers, volunteers, and contractors signed NDAs and could be covered by the case.
Denson’s attorney wrote in the arbitration filing that NDAs “strip” people of “their rights:”
‘The Form NDAs effectively strip employees, contractors, and volunteers of their ability to pursue any of their rights to redress workplace misconduct. Anything and everything they could do will of necessity contain some information that a Trump Person could find disparaging or a disclosure of confidential information.’
They also argue the NDAs are too vague. They give Donald Trump himself:
‘Discretion to decide what is “private” and “confidential” — doesn’t have any time or geographic limits, “lacks a legitimate purpose,” and is void because it allows a government actor — in this case, the president — to restrain a person’s free speech rights under the First Amendment.’
The NDA that Denson signed, which her lawyers contend was the same document used for other campaign staffers, volunteers, and contractors, applied not only when staffers worked for the campaign, but also “at all times thereafter.”
Trump tweeted about Omarosa’s NDA:
‘Wacky Omarosa already has a fully signed Non-Disclosure Agreement!’
Denson’s attorney David Bowles told BuzzFeed News:
‘(Denson) was deeply disappointed by the way she was treated by the campaign. She’s been deeply disappointed by the way the Trump campaign has used the NDA against her and she fears that similar things are being done to other campaign workers. She wants to put it right.’
Denson left the campaign just months after she started. The history of her legal battle is as follows:
- ‘In November 2017, Denson sued the campaign in New York County Supreme Court. She claimed she was discriminated against and cyberbullied by campaign officials — (but not Trump) — and was subject to a hostile work environment. She asked for $25 million in damages.’
- ‘In December 2017, the Trump campaign took Denson to arbitration, claiming she had breached her nondisclosure agreement by bringing the lawsuit in state court.
- ‘In March 2018, Denson sued the Trump campaign in federal district court in Manhattan, challenging the NDA as invalid.
- ‘In federal court, the judge dismissed her lawsuit, finding that any attempt to invalidate the NDA had to go to arbitration.’
The arbitrator found Denson breached her agreement, and she had to pay nearly $50,000 to the campaign.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.