As a team of retaliatory termination attorneys practicing in South Jersey, we take immense pride in our role as a leading advocate for employees’ rights, and any legal development that helps expand or enhance those rights is a victory in our book.
This, then, is a big win for employees in New Jersey: In mid-March, Gov. Phil Murphy signed into a law a bill prohibiting employers from forcing employees to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements, or NDAs, when settling claims involving:
- Sexual harassment
New Jersey is the third state to pass a law shielding accusers from NDAs, after California and New York.
In the past, if an employee accused an employer of harassment or discrimination and a settlement was reached, the employer could keep the details of the case and the amount of the settlement confidential by requiring the employee to sign an NDA. This kind of agreement favors the accused, rather than accusers, in two major ways:
- An NDA allows the employer to save face, avoiding bad publicity for the company and the consequences that tend to go along with it.
- Keeping settlements secret effectively squashes the message that discrimination and harassment are not only illegal – they are costly – which might act as a deterrent for leaders throughout the business world.
As you might imagine, attempting to silence accusers in matters of workplace harassment and discrimination has residual effects. Many of these cases go unreported because the victims fear retribution in the workplace. If those who do choose to press charges then have to fear retribution again, in the form of a legal NDA, it could discourage even more victims from coming forward.
At The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, PC, we believe that victims of harassment should not be afraid to tell their stories. We believe that employers who engage in harassment and discrimination should have to answer for their illegal behavior, in addition to paying for it.
This New Jersey law addresses both of those points. We hope that it leads to greater empowerment among employees and improved decorum among employers.
We’re glad to see lawmakers in New Jersey continue to stand up for employees’ rights because that’s what our practice is all about. If you feel you’ve been discriminated against in the workplace or need an attorney specializing in workplace sexual harassment in Gloucester County or anywhere in New Jersey, call The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, PC, today.