Employees have finally been released from their silence after the passage of Senate Bill 331, also known as the “Silenced No More Act”. Below, we’ll unpack this bill and explain how it expands the rights of employees who’ve suffered sexual harassment, discrimination, or retaliation in the workplace.
What Is Senate Bill 331?
Before discussing Senate Bill 331, we need to touch upon Senate Bill 820 briefly.
Senate Bill 820: The Stand Together Against Non-Disclosures Act
Senate Bill 820 was passed in the thick of the MeToo movement. This was (and still is) a social movement brewed slowly over the last two decades. It became well-known around 2017 when serious sexual-abuse allegations were revealed against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Senate Bill 820 aimed to prevent secret settlements continually cropping up regarding these sexual harassment claims. The payments aimed to cover up the offenses — essentially paying off those raising the allegations. This bill allowed employees who suffered sex-based harassment or discrimination to speak freely about their experiences instead of being silenced by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). It was a severe win for employees and the MeToo movement in general.
Still, the bill left a gaping hole in the law because it did not protect all forms of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. For example, it did not protect people who had been harassed, discriminated against, or retaliated against for their race, religion, disability, or other protected characteristics.
This is where Senate Bill 331 comes in. It expands upon what Senate Bill 820 aimed to do but did not fully achieve.
Senate Bill 331: The Silenced No More Act
Senate Bill 331 allows employees who have suffered harassment, discrimination, or retaliation to talk freely about their experiences and the injustices they suffered in the workplace. This is true even when someone signs a severance agreement or a settlement agreement.
The bill makes it illegal for any organization to stop a former employee from discussing what happened to them. All NDAs become void. However, in some cases, companies are still able to use NDAs. For example, non-disclosure agreements can be used to keep trade secrets confidential.
Does Senate Bill 331 Affect You? Contact Knoll Law Group
Since 1989, Knoll Law Group has specialized in helping individuals who’ve been wronged in the workplace. We understand how frightening and isolating it can be to be a victim at your job. Who can you turn to? And if you do tell someone, what if they betray you?
It’s important to know that you have someone strong on your side.
If you have any questions about Senate Bill 331 or think you may be affected by this bill and would like to discuss your legal options, please get in touch with Knoll Law Group today.
When you’ve suffered harassment, discrimination, or retaliation in the workplace, it’s essential to know that you have rights, and we can help you exercise them. We look forward to hearing from you!