A bill has been introduced in California that affects non-disclosure agreements, common in many big industries in the Bay area, such as major tech firms. Non-disclosure agreements are often criticized for shielding companies from accusations of harassment and discrimination. SB 331 addresses these issues.
The specifics of SB 311
Under current California law, non-disclosure agreements cannot be used to keep workers from being able to make allegations of sexual harassment. SB 311, introduced by California senator Connie Leyva and known as the “Silenced No More Act,” would expand these protections to cover racism and all other types of discrimination. The aim of the bill is to provide workers with the ability to hold employers accountable without fear of being sued for violating a non-disclosure agreement.
The Pinterest situation
SB 311 was co-led by Ifeoma Ozoma, a former policy manager at Pinterest. Ozoma had gone public in 2020 with allegations that she was discriminated against while working at Pinterest. Ozoma alleged that the company did not do enough to protect her from harassment both within the company and outside the company. One of Ozama’s concerns at the time was the possibility of being sued for violating a non-disclosure agreement she signed with Pinterest. Moreover, the non-discrimination prevented Ozoma from sharing their specifics of their situation with anyone close to them, adding isolation to the emotional effect of the harassment.
Learn more about non-disclosure agreements
Ultimately SB 311 is still just that — a bill, and current law on non-disclosure agreements still stands. Ultimately, this post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about our firm are invited to explore our website for further information.