Biden signs bill to curb use of sexual harassment NDAs
President Biden signed the Speak Out Act into law on Wednesday, limiting the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence victims of workplace sexual harassment and assault.
Why it matters: The bill’s passage came as a victory for #MeToo advocates and survivors of workplace sexual misconduct, and it is designed to create a more transparent environment.
Zoom out: NDAs garnered widespread public attention after some victims of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein violated their agreements to make public allegations of harassment and assault, sparking a wave of #MeToo allegations.
Details: The bill only applies to agreements signed before a dispute arises.
- It doesn’t apply to other kinds of complaints like for wage theft, or age or race discrimination.
What they’re saying: “This package is one of the MOST significant wins for labor and women’s rights this century!” Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), who worked on bill, tweeted.
Background: The Speak Out Act passed the House 315 -109; it had passed the Senate unanimously in September.
- Former Fox News hosts Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky advocated for the bill at a time of heightened bipartisan conflict during a lame-duck session of Congress.