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PA Bill Would Ban Nondisclosure Agreements for Sexual Misconduct

On November 17, 2017 by Schnader in Labor and Employment

By Jo Bennett

In response to a surge of sexual misconduct allegations throughout the country, Democratic state senators in Pennsylvania on Wednesday announced legislation that would ban agreements that hide the identity of persons accused of sexual assault or harassment. Senate Bill 999 takes aim at nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), in which the aggrieved party typically agrees not to pursue litigation or discuss the terms of the agreement in exchange for a sum of money.

The bill would prohibit Pennsylvania courts from enforcing nondisclosure agreements in civil lawsuits stemming from sexual misconduct allegations. It also would prohibit the destruction of evidence under such agreements. And it would void pre-existing agreements if a party to the agreement entered into the contract under duress, impaired, or while a minor. The proposed law would still protect the identity of the victims. Similar legislation has been proposed in California and New York.

We will continue to report on developments with Senate Bill 999.