Newly Proposed California Legislation Seeks to Protect Workers and Empower Them to Speak Out About Discrimination

The Proposed “Silence No More Act”

On February 8th, 2021, California state Senator Connie Leyva introduced the “Silence No More Act” in an effort to protect employees who speak out about discrimination in the workplace even if they’ve signed nondisclosure agreements. The legislation seeks to expand protections against secret settlements and nondislcosure agreements that have been used by companies to hide forms of harassment or discrimination. This includes forms of discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, ancestry, religion, or gender identity.

How will the Silence No More Act Impact Employers and Employees

Senator Lveya has explained that the newly proposed legislation will prevent workers from being forced to sign non-disclosure and non disparagment agreements that would limit their ability to speak out about harassment and discrimination in the workplace”. The law also seeks to further prohibit confidentiality and nondisparagment clauses that cover employment agreements that tie these clauses to severance compensation. Lveya hopes that the legislation will encourage employees to speak out and hold perpetrators accountable.

Furthermore, former Pinterest employee, Ifeoma Ozoma, worked closely with Leyva to draft the legislation. Ozoma and her colleague Aerica Shimizu Banks went public with allegations of racism and sexism at Pinterest. Ozuma soon realized that CCP 1001, passed in wake of the Me Too Movement, had serious limitations and did not account for other forms of workplace discrimination such as racism. The Silence No More Act is meant to fill these limitations.

Although the bill is not retroactive, Ozuma and Leyva believe that the Silence No More Act will give extra confidence to employees that their employers will be unable to retaliate against them if they choose to come forward with discrimination or harassment in the the workplace.

Reach Out to an Experienced Employment Law Firm for a Free Consultation

As employment attorneys in California, we are committed to ensuring our clients receive the rights they are entitled to as employees under state law, including the ability to seek claims for workplace discrimination. If you believe that you have faced discrimination or harassement on the basis of race, ancestry, religion, or gender identity in your workplace, reach out to Makarem & Associates.

With some of the best employment law attorneys in California, we can provide you legal representation to help you reach the most ideal outcome.

Get in touch with Makarem & Associates for a free consultation over the phone at 310-312-0299 or email at [email protected] to receive the right legal counsel.

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/02/08/california-silenced-no-more-act/

https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/8/22272779/silenced-no-more-act-california-nda-employees-workplace-harassment

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