If you work at one of the big tech or social media companies such as Google, Facebook, Pinterest and Amazon, you probably signed a nondisclosure agreement. You may have signed a non-disparagement one too.
The “Silenced No More Act” targets these documents as unreasonable and an infringement on employee rights.
How the Act came to be developed
As several employees who had the courage to speak up highlighted to the world, the tech companies often made these agreements excessively restrictive.
While the companies claim these documents are essential to protect their business, they have allowed discrimination and harassment to continue unpunished. If anyone dared to report these matters, they risked punishment themselves according to the agreement terms. Some workers who spoke up lost their jobs for doing so.
Silencing people does not make for a healthy workplace
Earlier this month, a California Senator proposed new legislation to tackle this issue. The Silenced No More Act, officially known as SB331, aims to limit the restrictions that employers can place upon their employees in nondisclosure and non-disparagement agreements.
The only way to tackle inequality, discrimination and harassment is to bring it into the light when it happens. The legislation aims to aid this by making it illegal for businesses to threaten their workers and ex-workers into silence. Whether or not the legislation will pass is not yet certain but it does seem to place the public’s interest ahead of corporate power.
Workplace discrimination and harassment is never acceptable
If you have suffered discrimination or harassment at work, seek legal advice. Speaking up can help stop it. It can also help prevent the culprit from doing the same to other people. Federal and state laws give you the right to a workplace free from harassment and discrimination. Your employer should not try to silence you for reporting it when someone violates your workplace rights.