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Pennsylvania House Bill 849 Would Prohibit Employers From Using NDAs in Sexual Harassment Cases

July 3rd, 2019

Pennsylvania House Bill 849 Would Prohibit Employers From Using NDAs in Sexual Harassment CasesBy Alidz Oshagan

A nondisclosure agreement (“NDA”) is a contract between the employee and the employer that requires the employee to keep trade secrets and other, employer information confidential. Typically, NDAs are a condition of employment. In other words, sign the NDA, or risk not being hired, or worse, being fired.

Employers have long used NDAs to require employees to keep sexual harassment investigations confidential. But that’s starting to change, thanks to House Bill 849, which was recently passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

House Bill 849, also known as the “Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act,” would prohibit employers from requiring current or prospective employees to sign a nondisclosure agreement that restricts the employee from opposing, disclosing, reporting or participating in an investigation of sexual harassment. (An employee and employer can still voluntarily agree to enter into a nondisclosure agreement that would require confidentiality).

On June 14, 2019, House Bill 849 was moved to the Pennsylvania State Senate’s Labor and Industry Committee for approval. If House Bill 849 becomes law, it would join similar laws from states including California, New Jersey, New York, and Washington.

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