Prospective employees of Leonardo DiCaprio’s film production company Greenhour Corp. were asked to sign expansive non-disclosure agreements, an employment requirement used by Harvey Weinstein and many other Hollywood production companies.
New hires were presented with agreements that prevented them from revealing private information about the actor, as well as “offensive/inappropriate material” they might have been exposed to while working on Greenhour’s films and other projects, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
While the use of non-disclosure agreements — commonly known as NDAs — has been standard practice in Hollywood for many years, the documents have received more scrutiny in the fallout from the Weinstein scandal. Long before The New York Times and other outlets reported earlier this month on Weinstein’s alleged sexual assault of dozens of actresses, Weinstein reportedly used NDAs in settlements with women who accused him of sexual harassment.
Hollywood NDAs differ widely on the types on information required to be kept secret. As TheNYT notes, Greenhour’s confidentiality agreement for contractors applies to a relatively broad class of information, including information about the actor and his associates, his businesses and “the existence of the contractor’s business and/or personal relationship with DiCaprio.”
The Greenhour NDA also appears to require contractors to forfeit their right to sue DiCaprio or his companies. Under federal labor law, such a provision is likely unenforceable if the lawsuit is based on sexual harassment or discrimination claims. But the Greenhour NDA is written in a way that would make workers incorrectly believe they could not sue, according to California litigator David Krause-Leemon.
“It’s meant to discourage” potential suits, he told TheNYT.
Hollywood NDAs often prescribe steep penalties for contractors who violate the terms of the agreement. In Greenhour’s case, the NDA says that contractors must pay DiCaprio $250,000 if they reveal information covered in the deal.
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