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Posting nonpayment at BB violates NDA?
Thread poster: Dahsom Hamilton, Ph.D.

Dahsom Hamilton, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:12
Member (2006)
English to Korean
+ ...
Sep 29, 2009

I just received a phone call from an agency - large company based both in US and Canada that I've provided interpretation services without receiving any payment for over 1 year.

After sending 30 emails without getting anywhere, I finally sent an email informing them that I will share my bad experience with others by posing at Proz.com and also at ATA site.

They just called me and said that posting at BB regarding their company is a violation of NDA that I signed. I'm not an attorney and I don't want to break any law. Is it true?



[Edited at 2009-09-29 21:17 GMT]


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 07:12
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
not true Sep 29, 2009

No, you are not violating any law. Not paying for a job does violate the law, indeed. Unless you signed that you will not ever publish a negative feedback on them even if they cheat you or never pay for your services. Review the NDA just in case.

So, now they answer, when you theaten to expose them.... So they care.

They might eventually pay before you post the feedback. But don`t let them bully you.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 10:12
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Tell them to bite you. Hard. Sep 29, 2009

If you stick to verifiable facts you have nothing to worry about. Disclosing their failure to pay in no way violates confidentiality. Depending on the deadbeat's country of domicile, you might want to consider a lot more action than what you propose. Oh yes... don't forget to charge the maximum rate of legal late penalties (interest).

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Harald Roald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:12
English to Norwegian
+ ...
good on you! Sep 29, 2009

obviously you dont plan to work for them again after the experience you have described, so you found the trigger that makes them react. Its clearly cheaper to pay a vendor than to open a legal case against them, I hope this make them pay you, and keep up your good work pointing out bad payers!

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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:12
French to English
Does it not depend.... Sep 29, 2009

Dahsom Hamilton, Ph.D. wrote:

They just called me and said that posting at BB regarding their company is a violation of NDA that I signed. I'm not an attorney and I don't want to break any law. Is it true?


... on exactly what the NDA says? If it's all about the content of the work you do for them, then you could be OK. If, on the other hand, it says they will try to have you executed by lethal injection if you so much as breathe a word about the existence of a contractual relationship between you, then maybe they are right.


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Brightman
Local time: 04:12
Japanese to English
+ ...
I would double check the NDA. Sep 29, 2009

If you have signed an NDA that limits you from disclosing the very existence of the relationship and/or the NDA itself, I think that you would not be able to post the matter at BB.

However... Did you issue them any work estimates and receive any purchase orders from them, agreeing on the payments and terms? (A series of e-mails with them may be good enough, as long as you guys agreed to the work and payment, but you should check with a lawyer on that.)

If so, you have a contract that would require them to pay you for the work you provided, assuming all records agree that acceptable work have been delivered in a reasonable manner, and then, they are the one violating an agreement.

In that case, does the NDA have a clause that would terminate itself, if either of the parties defaulted on any related contract?

Best of luck to you. I'd hate see anyone getting taken advantage of, but this is a type of situation where having all business contracts in place, prior to starting the work becomes very important.

Hopefully you will work things out with them.

[2009-09-29 23:23 GMTに編集されました]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:12
French to German
+ ...
Recent experience Sep 30, 2009

I was recently contacted by an American outsourcer (East Coast) who wanted me to sign his NDA before discussing anything else, so I guess that rates etc. were covered by the NDA too.
I would double- and triple-check the document at hand, but fail to see why a NDA should be more enforceable than positive laws. Plus: illegal clauses are not enforceable.

[Edited at 2009-09-30 05:21 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:12
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Does not violate the NDA Sep 30, 2009

As the spirit of any NDA is not to disclose the nature or amount of your business with this company, information about their customers, their materials, the contents of the jobs... You are not revealing any of that information by publicly reporting that they are not paying you.

They are threatening you just to keep you from posting the bad comment. It would cost them more to sue you than to pay you, and even if they sue you, I am sure no court would fine you for this as you are simply sharing true information and not cheating.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:12
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I did not accept Sep 30, 2009

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
I was recently contacted by an American outsourcer (East Coast) who wanted me to sign his NDA before discussing anything else, so I guess that rates etc. were covered by the NDA too.

Indeed. The same happened to me with an agency from the Far East. They insisted that I sign the NDA even before discussing potential rates, i.e. before I even knew whether it was at all interesting to work for them. They insisted for some weeks, but I insisted in discussing business matters before signing any agreement.


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Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:12
English to German
+ ...
Ask your lawyer what to do! Sep 30, 2009

... to be on the safe side. That's what I would definitely do.
I do not understand why you sent them 30 emails!?

Good luck!
Aniello

[Edited at 2009-09-30 06:01 GMT]


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Stuart Dowell  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:12
Member (2007)
Polish to English
+ ...
Inform proz staff Sep 30, 2009

If this company already has a BB listing, they must therefore accept the BB rules as they apply to agencies.

They would then have to decide if they want to continue being a member of Proz or enforcing their NDA.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:12
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Could be... Sep 30, 2009

Dahsom Hamilton, Ph.D. wrote:
They just called me and said that posting at BB regarding their company is a violation of NDA that I signed.


Does the NDA prohibit you to make known your relationship with the agency?


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:12
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Oh please guys! Sep 30, 2009

I really wonder whether we are all bananas or what. Does it really matter whether the NDA states that the relationship with the agency cannot be disclosed? Even if the NDA was so strange that it said that, isn't it also true that the agency is forgetting the main commitment with the translator, which is duly paying for the services requested?

It sounds to me that being picky about whether the NDA says "You may not complain about us in translator portals" or not is completely out of the question. This whole situation would not exist if the agency did a very simple thing: honouring their payment commitment.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:12
French to English
Two wrongs.... Sep 30, 2009

... don't make a right.

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

I really wonder whether we are all bananas or what. Does it really matter whether the NDA states that the relationship with the agency cannot be disclosed?


Yes, it does. Unfortunately, as a general principle, one cannot remedy breach of contract through a further breach of contract. If both parties breach a contract, you have not reached a situation that is "fair". You have reached a situation where there are two breaches of contract.
It's nice to see people taking legal agreements seriously on here. Why do we bother responding to all the "should I sign this?" threads if the ultimate wisdom of the Proz forum is that anything you sign is only so much toilet paper?

(I do take your previous point about it costing more to sue than to pay, however, which at least has the benefit of common sense.)


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:12
Italian to English
WWA Sep 30, 2009

Remember that the Blue Board is about expressing Willingness to Work Again.
The rules discourage anything else.
A score of 1 with no further comment tells us all we need to know!


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