|California law limits some workplace secret settlements |
A new law in California bans secret settlements in most harassment and discrimination cases. A 2018 state law banned secret settlements for cases involving sexual misconduct, discrimination or assault, and the new law expands the reform for other types of discrimination cases, including those involving race, religion, gender and sexual orientation. Sen. Connie Leyva, a Democrat from Chino who authored the law, dubbed it the “Silenced No More Act,” and said “The California State Legislature and Governor Newsom have now spoken: California workers should absolutely be able to speak out — if they so wish — when they are a victim of any type of harassment or discrimination in the workplace, ” adding “It is unconscionable that an employer would ever want or seek to silence the voices of survivors that have been subjected to racist, sexist, homophobic or other attacks at work." Arizona, New Jersey, New Mexico and Tennessee also have laws that ban nondisclosure agreements in sexual harassment cases, but Leyva's office said California is the first state to ban these nondisclosure agreements as part of severance packages when a worker leaves a company.