If passed into law, the Speak Out Act would prohibit the enforceability of a pre-dispute non-disclosure or non-disparagement agreement in a sexual assault or sexual harassment dispute involving conduct that allegedly violates federal, tribal, or State law. For employees, the Speak Out Act would permit them to discuss any sexual assault or sexual harassment they were forced to endure in connection with a lawsuit against the employer and the individual wrongdoers (if the wrongdoers can be held liable under applicable State or local law). The Speak Out Act is to empower employees to be able to speak out about sexual assault and sexual harassment committed against them and to prevent employers from silencing employees through these pre-dispute agreements.
As noted above, the Speak Out Act would only be applicable to pre-dispute agreements. However, several states have enacted laws concerning the confidentiality agreements or clauses related to the settlement of legal claims in sexual assault and sexual harassment as well as other forms of discrimination. For example, under New York law, an employer does not have the authority to include or to agree to include a confidentiality provision in a settlement agreement to resolve claims of employment discrimination, including claims related to sexual assault or sexual harassment. Instead, the employee may elect to include confidentiality as part of the settlement agreement and must be given 21 days to consider whether to include a confidentiality provision. After the 21-day waiting period, and if it is the employee’s preference, the employee and his or her employer may enter into an agreement that requires confidentiality.
If you have been subjected to sexual assault or sexual harassment in connection with your employment, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to understand your rights and whether you can pursue any claims. To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys and to learn more about your legal rights, call our offices today at (877) 247-4292 or (212) 983-9330 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP
Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP focuses on complex civil litigation, including securities, antitrust, wage and hour and consumer class actions as well as shareholder derivative and merger and transactional litigation. The firm is headquartered in New York, and maintains offices in California, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
Since its founding in 1995, Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP has served as lead or co-lead counsel in numerous high-profile cases which ultimately provided significant recoveries to investors, direct purchasers, consumers and employees.
To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys and to learn more about your legal rights, call our offices today at (877) 247-4292 or (212) 983-9330.
About Taylor Crabill
Taylor Crabill's practice is focused on employment litigation. Mr. Crabill is an Associate in the firm's New York Office.
Associate at Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP
New York office
Tel: (212) 983-9330
Fax: (212) 983-9331