I disagree with the recent essay asking presidential candidates to publicly support the prohibition of non-disclosure agreements, particularly in cases of sexual harassment.. (See link below.)
Most non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that are signed at the time of hiring require non-disclosure of things like customer lists, costs, trade secrets, etc. It is completely appropriate that employers require such an agreement as a condition of hiring.
NDAs signed in return for a cash settlement or severance payment are usually paid to avoid the risks associated with potential lawsuits, including loss of money, time and reputation. Employees who are offered such NDAs have complete power to not sign. But if they don’t come to an agreement, they also don’t get the associated payment. They are then free to tell their story to the public and pursue legal action against the employer.
Surely some employees, including victims of sexual harassment, prefer that NDAs and the related settlements remain available as a way to resolve disputes. If NDAs are prohibited, it is likely that settlements will not be offered. Then, the only guaranteed winners will be the attorneys.