Bill Would Ban Sexual Misconduct 'Confidentiality Agreements' in Texas

A bill filed in the Texas Legislature would outlaw the use of 'confidentiality agreements' or 'non disclosure agreements' to hush up sexual harassment and sexual misconduct in the workplace, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

State Rep. Victoria Neaves (D-Dallas) prohibits employers from requiring, as a condition of employment, that any employee agree to a confidentiality agreement which prevents the employee from notifying law enforcement, an attorney or the public about allegations of sexual misconduct committed by another employee or supervisor, at the company.

It also prohibits requirements that any allegations of sexual misconduct against managers or co workers be handled through 'binding arbitration,' instead of through the civil or criminal legal process.

"A mandatory arbitration agreement between an employer and an employee is void and unenforceable as against the public policy of this state to the extent the agreement imposes mandatory arbitration of a dispute involving an allegation of sexual assault or sexual harassment," the bill states.

It would also throw out all confidentiality agreements on the issue of sexual misconduct which have already been signed, and would declare them to be 'null and void.'

The proposal does not affect other confidential agreements between an employer and an employee, nor does it affect the use of binding arbitration to cover other workplace disputes.

Alleged serial predators like Harvey Weinstein and former CBS boss Les Moonves are accused of using  confidentiality agreements to hush up their sexual misconduct, in some cases for decades.

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