The US House is expected to vote next on legislation that would invalidate some nondisclosure agreements in instances when workers allege sexual harassment and assault, a final hurdle before the bill would be sent for President Joe Biden’s signature, reported Bloomberg News.
The bill, known as the SPEAK Out Act, would apply
only to nondisclosure agreements signed before a dispute arises—not those
signed as part of a settlement. The Senate
passed the bill under unanimous consent in September.
Nondisclosure agreements emerged as one of the many
barriers workers faced when trying to come forward with allegations of sexual
harassment during the #MeToo movement. The bill narrowly addresses the issue,
though some legal scholars see
this as only a start.
The bill has had bipartisan support in both the
House and Senate, but still drew opposition from employers like Uber
Technologies Inc., who lobbied to focus its purview even more.
If the lower chamber passes the bill, it will be the
second piece of pro-worker legislation to clear both the House and Senate this
congress, after a bill banning mandatory arbitration for workers alleging
#MeToo claims was signed
into law earlier this year.
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