Poll: How often do you decline job offers because you can't accept the formulation of the client's NDA?
מפרסם התגובה: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:35
צוות האתר
Sep 7, 2018

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How often do you decline job offers because you can't accept the formulation of the client's NDA?".

This poll was originally submitted by Anita Hedman. View the poll results »



 

Nuno Rosalino
פורטוגל
Local time: 19:35
חבר (2012)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
Seldom Sep 7, 2018

These days, I often get hit with NDAs that are clearly copy-pasted off the Internet. They typically don't make much sense for independent contractors since they include some sort of exclusivity clause or non-competes that are too all-encompassing. Since contracts are meant to protect the interests of both parties, what I do with these is try to have the offending clauses struck out, but, in my experience, when faced with pushback most of these companies that try to impose abusive NDAs seem to ei... See more
These days, I often get hit with NDAs that are clearly copy-pasted off the Internet. They typically don't make much sense for independent contractors since they include some sort of exclusivity clause or non-competes that are too all-encompassing. Since contracts are meant to protect the interests of both parties, what I do with these is try to have the offending clauses struck out, but, in my experience, when faced with pushback most of these companies that try to impose abusive NDAs seem to either completely disregard the NDA and go ahead with work, or simply put an abrupt stop to the onboarding process because they're not really prepared to handle any sort of contractual negotiation.

[Edited at 2018-09-07 09:08 GMT]
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Teresa Borges
פורטוגל
Local time: 19:35
חבר (2007)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
Never Sep 7, 2018

Most NDAs are harmless. Despite all that scary-looking legalese, there’s nothing that’s likely to hurt you, though some NDAs seem more sneaky (non-compete and confidentiality clauses). What I don’t like about NDAs is the “one-fits-all” mentality, but I can’t remember ever rejecting a job offer because of the wording of a NDA. In over 30 years, the only time I did decline a job was with a well-known American translation agency which after asking for a test, a photo, a signed NDA and a... See more
Most NDAs are harmless. Despite all that scary-looking legalese, there’s nothing that’s likely to hurt you, though some NDAs seem more sneaky (non-compete and confidentiality clauses). What I don’t like about NDAs is the “one-fits-all” mentality, but I can’t remember ever rejecting a job offer because of the wording of a NDA. In over 30 years, the only time I did decline a job was with a well-known American translation agency which after asking for a test, a photo, a signed NDA and a long list of other requirements sent me a so-called welcome pack having 34 pages for me to read, sign and return…Collapse


Yetta Jensen Bogarde
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
דנמרק
Local time: 20:35
חבר (2003)
מדנית לאנגלית
+ ...
It doesn't usually come as far as job offers Sep 7, 2018

If I refuse to sign the NDA, then the client does not offer me jobs.

Sadly, I have parted with one or two formerly good clients, because they have been taken over by others who have sent an NDA which I could not accept.

I have worked for years with another agency, presumably still on the strength of an earlier NDA, and was quite surprised to hear from a colleague that he would not sign their new version!

However, I joined a discussion with one agency who
... See more
If I refuse to sign the NDA, then the client does not offer me jobs.

Sadly, I have parted with one or two formerly good clients, because they have been taken over by others who have sent an NDA which I could not accept.

I have worked for years with another agency, presumably still on the strength of an earlier NDA, and was quite surprised to hear from a colleague that he would not sign their new version!

However, I joined a discussion with one agency who actually modified their NDA after several translators had refused to sign. It can be done.

I know it is not easy for everyone, if they need the work, but I think it is important to be aware of the precise terms of an NDA and what you are signing. While confidentiality and professional secrecy are at the core of professional ethics, you do not have to allow clients to 'audit' in a way that infringes the rights of other clients.

Giving references is another controversial area. When a potential client asks for references, they are basically asking you to give the names and addresses of established clients you work for, and who trust you. If the client asking for references has a clause in their NDA forbidding you to mention that you work for them - meaning that they will not give you references for other clients - then they are not entitled to ask for references!

All that needs to be said can usually be written on two sides of a sheet of paper, in normal print. If you are asked to read several pages of tiny text, start getting suspicious!
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José Henrique Lamensdorf
Yetta Jensen Bogarde
Angus Stewart
Gibril Koroma
Giovana Zaltron
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
צרפת
Local time: 20:35
חבר (2018)
מצרפתית לאנגלית
Once Sep 7, 2018

I contacted an agency that I know is serious a while ago, and never heard back. Then suddenly last June I got an email thanking me for contacting them and please sign this form to complete your entry in our database. As I was in a mad rush with loads of clients requesting my services, I simply marked the email as unread, so that I would remember to come back to it later. Then the very next Friday I got one of *those* calls. The PM started by asking why I hadn't signed the NDA. I explained that ... See more
I contacted an agency that I know is serious a while ago, and never heard back. Then suddenly last June I got an email thanking me for contacting them and please sign this form to complete your entry in our database. As I was in a mad rush with loads of clients requesting my services, I simply marked the email as unread, so that I would remember to come back to it later. Then the very next Friday I got one of *those* calls. The PM started by asking why I hadn't signed the NDA. I explained that I needed to read it at a time when I wouldn't feel rushed, because seven pages of legalese need to be taken seriously (and after all, they had taken several months to send it to me, but I didn't mention that). She then explained about the job, 3000 words, for Monday of course. It so happened that I had already scheduled work for that weekend so I couldn't fit it in anyway. A few weeks later, when I finally got round to reading the NDA, there was one clause that I didn't understand. Or at least if I did understand, it was highly restrictive, the kind of thing that would trigger a universal "don't sign that" from the seasoned translators here.

I then started getting newsletters, the first of which announced that they had just been bought out by an agency that I know is not good, according to a former colleague who did a stint there after working with us. I doubt the buy-out will change anything for the better, so I have more or less decided it's not worth asking for clarification or modification.
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Yetta Jensen Bogarde  Identity Verified
דנמרק
Local time: 20:35
חבר (2012)
מאנגלית לדנית
+ ...
Seldom Sep 7, 2018

In fact, it was mostly in the beginning. Now I am more relaxed about it and know it's mostly a formality.

But there are other issues that have made me discontinue collaboration: unacceptable payment terms (incl. Hyperwallet) and complicated administrative or QA procedures, too long instructions etc.
Recently I have sacked several clients because they are not translator-friendly and take too much of my time, incl. three regular clients after they got acquired by larger agencies
... See more
In fact, it was mostly in the beginning. Now I am more relaxed about it and know it's mostly a formality.

But there are other issues that have made me discontinue collaboration: unacceptable payment terms (incl. Hyperwallet) and complicated administrative or QA procedures, too long instructions etc.
Recently I have sacked several clients because they are not translator-friendly and take too much of my time, incl. three regular clients after they got acquired by larger agencies.
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Gibril Koroma  Identity Verified
קנדה
Local time: 14:35
חבר (2017)
מצרפתית לאנגלית
+ ...


Posted via
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Never Sep 7, 2018

The ones I have signed are all harmless from my point of view. I am now in my 50s and I have seen several over the years.

 

Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:35
חבר (2002)
מאנגלית לנורבגית
+ ...
It's happened a few times Sep 7, 2018

Usually I go straight to their liability clauses - it I by signing become liable for an unlimited amount should my translation be contested, I don't sign. I only accept liabilities up to the cost of my translation.
Even if such a clause would be almost un-enforcable, I want to sleep at night, so I don't sign


Mario Freitas
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
ברזיל
Local time: 15:35
חבר (2014)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
Contracts are necessarily two-sided agreements Sep 8, 2018

I always read the NDAs or contracts through, write down the clauses I don't agree with, and submit them to the potential client with a proposed solution.
Some people have a hard time understanding that a contract is always a two-sided agreement, where both parties have the right to contest clauses and propose changes.
When one party tells the other "this is standard, and we can't change it", you are dealing with people who have no idea what they are doing and act like robots. Give u
... See more
I always read the NDAs or contracts through, write down the clauses I don't agree with, and submit them to the potential client with a proposed solution.
Some people have a hard time understanding that a contract is always a two-sided agreement, where both parties have the right to contest clauses and propose changes.
When one party tells the other "this is standard, and we can't change it", you are dealing with people who have no idea what they are doing and act like robots. Give up, run away from these people. If you sign the agreement, you'll have all kinds of trouble from then on, because they consider themselves your boss, not a partner. Any level of superiority claimed by either side makes the contract void and impracticable.

So, it has happened a few times for sure.

[Edited at 2018-09-08 16:11 GMT]
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Poll: How often do you decline job offers because you can't accept the formulation of the client's NDA?

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