A judge in New York has ruled that a confidentiality agreement between President Trump’s campaign and a former staffer is limited in scope because of mistaken wording in the contract, a decision that could have potential ramifications for other non-disclosure agreements signed by former Trump staffers.
“The motion by defendant to compel arbitration is denied. The cross-motion by plaintiff, who is self-represented, to amend her complaint is granted.” Judge denies Trump campaign’s attempt to use NDA to force my employment case into secret arbitration.https://t.co/UWkTwI3Sq7
— Jessica Denson (@JessicaDenson07) August 16, 2018
The Hill notes:
In a ruling in the case of Jessica Denton, a former Trump campaign staffer who filed a lawsuit last year alleging sexual discrimination and harassment while working for the campaign, the judge ruled that Denton’s harassment claim was not subject to out-of-court arbitration under the agreement.
Due to the wording of the agreement, it appeared only disputes over the agreement itself and a few other prohibited behaviors were subject to arbitration, Judge Arlene Bluth wrote, according to Yahoo! News.
“As an initial matter, the Court observes that the arbitration clause confines arbitration to ‘any dispute arising under or relating to this agreement,’” Bluth reportedly wrote. “It does not require arbitration for any ‘dispute between the parties’ or even ‘any dispute arising out of plaintiff’s employment.’”
“There is simply no way to construe this arbitration clause in this agreement to prevent … pursuing harassment claims in court,” she added.
This ruling could impact the results of future arbitration cases filed by the Trump campaign against former staffers, including that of Omarosa Manigault Newman.