Councilmember Charles Allen introduced the “Sexual Misconduct Sunshine Amendment Act of 2018,” a bill aimed at preventing non-disclosure agreements from hiding sexual misconduct.
“Building on decades of work by innumerable women, the #MeToo movement has heightened public attention to the prevalence of sexual misconduct and discrimination in and out of the workplace. Non-disclosure agreements are often coercive and allow predators to hide their behavior from accountability and liability,” Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6), chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, said. “This is an important way we can protect employees and shift some of the power back to workers.”
Here is what the bill would do:
- Prohibits nondisclosure agreements, waivers, or other documents – unless entered into at the claimant’s request – from preventing the disclosure of factual information related to claims alleging certain sexual offenses, sexual harassment, or any form of discrimination under the District’s Human Rights Act;
- Prohibits employers from requiring employees, as a condition of their employment, to enter into nondisclosure agreements, waivers, or other documents that prevent them from disclosing factual information related to claims alleging such misconduct;
- Empowers victims by allowing the amount paid in an agreement to still be shielded, and, if the victim chooses, also personally-identifiable information about the parties and the nature of their relationship;
- Prohibits retaliation;
- Provides remedies; and
- Requires the Mayor and the Office of the Attorney General to submit an annual report to the Council regarding payments made with public funds for awards and settlements in connection with claims of such misconduct.
Councilmember Allen worked closely with the National Women’s Law Center on this issue. The bill is co-introduced by all members of the Council.