Monday December 4, 2023

President Biden Signs Bill to Curb Use of NDAs in Harassment Cases

  • Washington Commanders toxic workplace allegations used as example.
  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell testified to House Oversight Committee in June.
Snyder Sale
Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports
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President Joe Biden signed the Speak Out Act into law on Wednesday, legislation impacting how non-disclosure agreements are enforced in sexual assault and harassment cases.

During a debate in the House of Representatives, Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder’s handling of toxic workplaces allegations came under scrutiny.

The bill that limits the enforceability of non-disclosure agreements in sexual assault and harassment was sent to the White House last week after it passed both houses of Congress.

“Let’s talk about the Washington Commanders’ owner, Dan Snyder, at the NFL,” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-New York) said before the House passed the bill in November. “Snyder assured his fans that he knew nothing about rampant and reprehensible harassment suffered by his employees, the women staffers forced to endure harassment and attempted assault.

“Surprise: Snyder used predispute NDAs with many of those women staffers.”

The Commanders’ usage of NDAs was a topic of June’s House Oversight Committee hearing, where NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was the sole witness.

“Our policies do not allow a club to use an NDA to bar someone from participating in a league investigation, and nobody who wished to speak to [outside NFL investigator Beth] Wilkinson was prevented from doing so by an NDA,” Goodell said at the hearing.

“We also believe that people who come forward and want to maintain their privacy should be allowed to do so. The assurance that it was safe to participate and that people could rely on the promise to protect their privacy allowed us to do a thorough review and make the necessary changes in the workplace.”

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