Laid-off tech worker Kim says there were a lot of things that went on at the company that she didn’t like – she felt the culture was “sexist”, for example. Despite that, even if she’d been protected by the ruling when she’d been laid off, she says she would never have considered speaking in any sort of public way about her feelings towards the company – especially not in the immediate aftermath of being laid off.
“Even I hadn’t had to sign [the agreement],” she says, “I wouldn’t have done anything different.” Particularly in an environment of mass layoffs and the anxiety that goes with it, she adds, it would be “foolish” to risk being branded a trouble-maker. “I was unemployed and needed a new job,” explains Kim. “No-one wants to hire someone who’s known to be a complainer – who might turn out to pose a massive PR risk.”