Companies should be mindful to comply with the recently enacted Speak Out Act when updating their non-disclosure agreements (NDA) according to Labor and Employment Partner Mishell Parreno Taylor. In a new Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article, Parreno Taylor says companies should be clear that any NDA does not apply in cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault. She also notes that businesses should understand that, legally, online harassment can be just as serious as harassment in the office.
The Speak Out Act, which Pres. Joe Biden signed into law in December, nullifies NDAs and nondisparagement agreements created to prevent employees from speaking publicly about workplace sexual harassment or assault. Despite significant regulatory attention on NDAs, Parreno Taylor notes that they remain significant contract tools and that the new law does not prevent employers from protecting their trade secret.