The Guardian: California bill targets NDAs that prevent workers from speaking about discrimination

February 10. 2021

The Guardian ran an article about SB 331 (introduced by Senator Leyva and co-sponsored by ERA and CELA), which expands prohibitions on NDAs to apply to all forms of discrimination and harassment.

ERA Senior Counsel for Workplace Justice & Public Policy Jessica Stender was featured in the article.

While tech companies have become notorious for their use of strict NDAs in recent years, this bill would affect every industry in California, said Jessica Ramey Stender, the senior counsel at Equal Rights Advocates, and will be particularly beneficial to low-wage workers who do not feel they can negotiate NDAs they are served with when leaving a position. The bill is “critical” she said, because it allows workers to speak out about discrimination beyond sexual harassment.

“This legislation recognizes the reality that a lot of workers are experiencing intersectional discrimination based not just on their sex but also on other protected classes such as race or national origin,” she said. “SB 331 is an important step forward ensuring they can speak out about their whole experience as a woman of color, or a person with a disability, for example.”

“This is a broader issue of public accountability – consumers have a right to know whether a company has instances of discrimination or harassment,” she said.

Read the full article here.

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