Well…if you scroll back, you will find my postings about these non disparagement clauses big corporations use when key employees leave or get fired or get pushed out. It is to buy silence.
It is one thing to pay off someone’s contract (a deal is a deal), it is another to buy silence with shareholder money. Of course corporations don’t want ex employees going out and trashing UNFAIRLY corporations but there is something about using shareholder money so that shareholders don’t learn what is going on inside the corporations they own a part of and continue to invest in. How can shareholders make smart investment decisions when the senior executives can hide – with shareholder money – what is going on if there is some shaky stuff going on? (I am not saying that is being done at NBC — I am merely using NBC and this non disparagement clause in the NY Post article as an example.)
I don’t know if this NY Post article is correct or not, and non disparagement clauses are common. Sometimes the money is owed under the contract but in exchange for something (e.g. pay all at once rather than for the duration of the contract which might be years), the non disparagement clause is negotiated.
Most employees take them because the pay out is so high (can you blame them?) or they are out of work (I was lucky when I left CNN that I had another job lined up, so I declined to sign a non disparagment clause and I declined what I was offered in exchange for me to sign it. )