News of celebrities demanding their accusers to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) when settling lawsuits has opened discussions about whether or not NDAs should be prohibited. Recently, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-NJ) introduced Bill S-121, which disallows defendants from requiring plaintiffs to sign NDAs for out-of-court settlements regarding discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in New Jersey.
Senator Weinberg stated that keeping workplace sexual harassment settlements undisclosed to the public allows the guilty parties to continue harassing others. In some cases, the employers keep the information under wraps and pay for the lawsuits. As a result, the defendants are not made to pay retribution for their actions. She went on to say that comparable legislative measures are being deliberated at the federal level.
Types of Non-Disclosure Agreements
There are many types of NDAs used with employment contracts. Companies may not want their employees to reveal trade secrets, confidential data, and other employment-related proprietary information. NDAs are useful for protecting inventions, business ideas, financial information, or new technology. These are often part of standard employment agreements and can either be shared between both parties or is solely applicable to the employee.
In the case of a sexual harassment lawsuit, victims may be forced to sign a different NDA. This one may state that they not engage in further litigation against the accused or reveal details about the case in exchange for money. If the individual breaks the terms of the NDA, the defendant may subsequently sue for damages.
The legislation was approved by the Senate in June 2018 and makes NDAs unenforceable in sexual harassment settlement agreements and employment contracts for cases of workplace sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Specifically, it prohibits employment contracts from forcing employees to waive their rights and suppress details of the claims. The employer is also prohibited from taking retaliatory action, such as firing or demoting the employee, if they do not sign the NDA in these cases.
Senator Weinberg feels that when settlements are not made public, the sexual predators are able to continue their behaviors, which can endanger other individuals. Senator Nia Gill explained that while NDAs can still be implemented, they may not be used to silence victims of sexual harassment, assault, or discrimination in the workplace.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight for Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Even with the MeToo Movement and high-profile lawsuits in the news, employees are still sexually harassed and forced into signing NDAs. If you or someone you care about is struggling with these issues, help can be found. Contact the Cherry Hill employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. We will listen to your case and give you the professional representation that you deserve. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation. We are centrally located in Philadelphia, and we proudly serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.