Human rights

UPEI asked outgoing employee to waive his right to file a human rights complaint in the NDA

The University of Prince Edward Island has asked at least one departing employee to waive their right to file a complaint with the PEI Human Rights Commission.

CBC News has obtained a draft nondisclosure agreement issued by the university to a former staff member.

The agreement states that the person cannot file a complaint under the province’s Human Rights Act, the Employment Standards Act or any successor legislation. The employee did not sign the agreement.

Human resources experts say these types of clauses are common to NDAs.

But Green MP Lynne Lund said the deal shows how often NDAs can go too far and prevent employees from talking about serious cases of abuse.

“I think it’s disappointing to see this kind of language in nondisclosure agreements, but it’s totally consistent with what we’ve seen in nondisclosure agreements in all kinds of organizations.” , Lund said.

“The idea that you can force someone not to file a human rights complaint is clearly overbroad and grossly inappropriate. I think that’s really the problem with the language we see in the NDAs, is that they go so far straight. “

Lund said nondisclosure agreements like this will no longer be allowed once new legislation, which she has sponsored, comes into effect in May.

This law is expected to make Prince Edward Island the first province in the country to limit the use of nondisclosure agreements in cases of harassment or discrimination.

CBC News confirmed this fall that nondisclosure agreements were used in settlement agreements involving the UPEI and two former employees who filed sexual harassment complaints against former President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz in 2013 .

These complaints were filed with the PEI Human Rights Commission.

UPEI said on Monday that a Toronto lawyer hired to investigate new allegations against Abd-El-Aziz had also been asked to review workplace policies to address harassment and to make recommendations on the university’s use of NDAs.

Other clauses in the UPEI agreement would prevent the employee from disclosing the terms of severance pay and the NDA itself, except to immediate family and legal and financial advisers, unless the law requires it. ‘required.

Employees would also not be able to make negative or unfavorable comments towards the university, its departments, its governors or its staff orally or through any other means at the risk of losing severance pay.