California workers who have been subjected to harassment and discrimination are too often silenced by being subjected to non-disclosure agreements. This leaves other workers at risk of similar mistreatment, and it can limit these workers’ rights to seek additional compensation for the harm caused to them.
That may all be drawing to a close given that the California legislature recently passed the “Silenced No More Act.” The new law, expected to take effect at the beginning of 2022, will allow workers who signed non-disclosure agreements and other confidentiality-related agreements to speak out about harassment and discrimination. The law expands a 2018 law that granted similar protection so that it now includes those who have been subjected to various types of discrimination, such as that pertaining to race, age, and disability. Other forms of harassment are also included in the new law.
What the new law could mean for you
This new law means that you’ll no longer be bound by secret settlements aimed at protecting employers who acted in an egregious fashion. You’ll be empowered to tell your story in a public forum, thereby highlighting the pervasiveness of harassment and discrimination, holding your employer to account for its actions, and protecting others in the workplace who may be standing where you once stood. It may also open the door for additional legal action.
Stand up and let your voice be heard
Speaking out against discrimination and harassment can be an emotional endeavor. But it’s not one that you have to face alone. Its importance should motivate you to find ways to empower yourself and let your voice be heard. We hope that you surround yourself with those who support you and can help amplify what you need to be said, even if that means taking your fight to the legal forum.