Representatives Trahan, Pressley Applaud Massachusetts Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) Reform Bill
Washington, July 29, 2019
Boston, MA – Today, Representatives Lori Trahan (MA-03) and Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) applauded Massachusetts State Senator Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) and State Representative Alyson Sullivan (R-Abington) for their efforts to call attention to workplace sexual harassment and the role non-disclosure agreements (NDA’s) have played in silencing victims. This bipartisan legislation, S. 929, would bar the use of Massachusetts taxpayer dollars for the use of implementing non-disclosure agreements (NDA’s) and reform their use in the private sector so that they could only be implemented at the request of the employee. Earlier today Senator DiZoglio and Representative Sullivan held a press conference calling on the State Auditor to conduct a statewide audit into the use of NDA’s across state government.
“Every worker in the United States deserves a workplace free from harassment and intimidation of all kinds. Over the last several years, countless brave women and men have come forward to call out the painful and all-too-common reality of workplace sexual assault and harassment. NDA’s have played a role in sustaining this for too long. I applaud Senator DiZoglio and Representative Sullivan’s efforts and leadership on this issue. This is a perfect example of how having more women in government results in forcing these types of important, long overdue conversations. I’m also proud to be working with my colleagues in Washington on a solution to this problem at the federal level. Our workers deserve better,” said Rep. Trahan.
“It is our responsibility to end workplace harassment and lift the voices of workers who bravely come forward and relive traumatizing workplace assault in the name of justice,” said Rep. Pressley. “This is why I co-led the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act with Rep Clark – federal legislation that bolsters worker protections by prohibiting employers from requiring workers to sign NDAs as a condition of being hired on for a job. I am grateful for the leadership of our State House colleagues tackling the issue of tax payer dollars funding NDAs that silence and limit the recourse for those impacted.”
“Non-Disclosure Agreements protect powerful abusers - empowering them to easily move from one victim to the next. The abuse of these hush agreements must be stopped. We stand together, with every survivor of abuse, harassment, discrimination, and assault. We stand with every person who has been marginalized, every person who has felt helpless at times, every person who has felt alone, and every person who has felt powerless when going up against the powerful and the privileged. You are not alone – we stand with you,” said State Senator DiZoglio.
“This is a non-partisan issue and I am proud to be working across the aisle with Senator DiZoglio. Government works best when there is transparency to those we serve. A transparent government is a good government. We should not be in the practice of silencing anyone, especially using taxpayer funds. The public has the right to know when taxpayer funds are used to settle claims. Shining a light on what government does, how and why it does it, is good for government and the people we serve,” said State Representative Sullivan.
Representatives Trahan and Pressley have introduced legislation alongside Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-05) to address this problem at the federal level. The Bringing an End to Harassment by Enhancing Accountability and Rejecting Discrimination in the Workplace Act, also known as the BE HEARD In The Workplace Act, strives to achieve gender equity and safe workplaces by implementing policies like prohibiting mandatory arbitration and pre-dispute nondisclosure agreements, extending statutes of limitations for workers to file harassment claims with the EEOC, and requiring workplace harassment prevention strategies.