A bill to prohibit non-disclosure agreements in workplace sexual harassment settlements has been approved by a 34-0 vote in the state Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-37th District, a sponsor of Senate Bill 121, said the legislation is necessary, because of employers using NDA’s to “silence and intimidate victims of sexual assault and harassment.”
S121, approved Thursday, would prohibit non-disclosure agreements in employment contracts, as well as settlement agreements in cases of discrimination, retaliation or harassment. The bill would also null any current such provisions in contracts.
“Limiting these so-called ‘confidentiality agreements’ will help lift the secrecy that allowed the abuses to continue,” Weinberg said.
Weinberg said the legislation was motivated in part by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, which have turned up instances of employers using NDAs in settlements to silence potential plaintiffs.
The bill’s Assembly counterpart, Assembly Bill 1242, has yet to be heard on the floor.