LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

RESTRICTIONS ON NONDISCLOSURE AND NONDISPARAGEMENT AGREEMENTS

More states have enacted laws that restrict the use of confidentiality and nondisparagement agreements in employment. Maine, Oregon and Washington have recently enacted laws that impose restrictions on how employers use these types of agreements. Illinois, California, New York and New Jersey also have laws that similarly restrict employers use of these agreements.

Congress is also weighing in on this issue as it relates to victims discussing incidents of workplace sexual harassment and sexual assault. On September 15, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the bill known as the Speak Out Act (S.4524). This comes after the House Judiciary Committee passed a companion bill earlier this summer.

Employers are encouraged to be mindful of this emerging area of workplace law in drafting severance agreements, legal settlements and other workplace agreements.