Non-Disclosure Agreements Banned in Sexual Misconduct Case Settlements

Law Firm Newswire



Los Angeles, CA (Law Firm Newswire) January 7, 2019 – California has taken a lead in the prevention of sexual harassment, assault and discrimination in the workplace by enacting several new laws which went into effect on January 1, 2019. One law in particular, popularly known as the #MeToo law, curtails the use of non-disclosure agreements as a means to silence victims and protect the perpetrators of sexual misconduct.

Senate Bill 820, signed by former Governor Jerry Brown last year before he left office, forbids the use of non-disclosure agreements in the settlement of claims involving sexual harassment, assault or discrimination. Non-disclosure agreements, intended to protect trade secrets, have instead become a favorite tool of companies and legal teams looking to obscure accusations of sexual misconduct and hide the identities of harassers. This helps employers and harassers to avoid repercussions and possibly commit more crimes in the future.

“For far too long, the powerful (usually) men involved in these cases have taken further advantage of their victims by forcing them to stay silent with non-disclosure agreements,” says Strong Advocates Executive Director Betsy Havens. “It’s time for accountability. SB820 will make a real difference for the people who have been affected by sexual abuse or discrimination.”

This new law will drastically change the negotiation process for claimants in sexual misconduct cases. The only instance in which anonymity will be allowed in these settlements is if it is requested by the claimant, a provision which offers protection to those who may be afraid to come forward with a claim of misconduct against their employer.

Strong Advocates
6601 Center Drive West
Suite 500
Los Angeles, California 90045

Betsy Havens
Phone: (800) 870-9886 or direct line (424) 209-2884

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