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Led, in part, by a crusade from former Fox News hosts Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky, who settled private cases with Fox News involving sexual harassment and signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), we’re likely to see a bill at the General Assembly this year to ban employers’ use of NDAs and non-disparagement agreements in discrimination complaints.

The CT Mirror summarized a meeting that the two had with legislators last month. Afterwards, they joined Democratic lawmakers in favor of such a bill.

For those unfamiliar with the work of Carlson and Roginsky, the nonprofit organization Lift Our Voices focuses on federal and state-level advocacy for reforms in workplace harassment laws. The proposed legislation is likely to a top item in the upcoming legislative session for Connecticut Democrats. A 2022 effort faced opposition from business interests, including the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA).

The battle over NDAs pits two interests against each other. For businesses, non-disclosure agreements can protect confidential business information. For employees, NDAs are viewed as a barrier to transparency and hide discrimination and harassment claims.

Different states have already begun to implement new laws regarding NDAs. For example, in Washington state, the Silenced No More Act (2022) prohibits nondisclosure and non-disparagement provisions in agreements that prevent employees from disclosing illegal acts of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, and sexual assault. The law does not keep parties from agreeing to keep the amount to settle a claim private.

The General Assembly comes back into session on February 7th. Expect more on this as the details of the bill (and any potential compromises) come before a hearing and a potential vote.