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Senate Considers Prohibiting Restrictive Language From Legal Agreements

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TW: This article contains information about sexual harassment and sexual assault.

The Senate Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs Committee heard public testimony on Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1795, which would prohibit nondisclosure agreements from containing language regarding illegal acts.

The bill passed the House in a vote of 56-40 on February 9.  If passed in the Senate the bill would prohibit agreements from restricting individuals from speaking about illegal activity.  

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Harvey Weinstein included such language in his non-disclosure agreements.

In exchange for a million-dollar payment from Harvey Weinstein, Gutierrez would agree never to talk publicly about an incident during which Weinstein groped her breasts and tried to stick his hand up her skirt.

Read Harvey Weinstein’s Secret Settlements in full (link)

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ESHB – 1795 2021-22 Language in Nondisclosure Agreements

 

Bill Information
Bill Information Page (link)

Concerning: Prohibiting nondisclosure and nondisparagement provisions from employers regarding illegal acts of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, and sexual assault.  Original Bill (pdf)
Sponsors: Berry, Walen, Sells, Fitzgibbon, Bateman, Davis, Macri, Tharinger, Valdez, Pollet, Ormsby, Hackney, Frame
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is
passed.
Status:
Jan 6 Prefiled for introduction.
Jan 10 First reading, referred to Labor & Workplace Standards.
Jan 18 Public hearing in the House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards at 10:00 AM.

Jan 26 Executive action taken in the House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards at 10:00 AM.

Feb 9 1st substitute bill substituted
Floor amendment(s) adopted.
             Rules suspended.
Placed on Third Reading.
Third reading, passed; yeas, 56; nays, 40; absent, 0; excused, 2. (see roll call below)
Bill goes to the Senate for consideration.

In The Senate

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Feb 10 First reading, referred to Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs.
Feb 17 Public hearing held in the Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs at 8:00 AM.
Feb 23 Scheduled for executive session in the Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs at 10:30 AM (Subject to change).

Roll Call

House:Roll Call HB 1795 Nondisclosure/illegal acts 3rd Reading & Final Passage 2/9/2022 Yeas: 56 Nays: 40 Absent: 0 Excused: 2

Yea: Representatives Bateman, Berg, Bergquist, Berry, Bronoske, Callan, Chapman, Chopp, Cody, Davis, Dolan, Donaghy, Duerr, Entenman, Fey, Fitzgibbon, Frame, Goodman, Gregerson, Hackney, Hansen, Harris-Talley, Johnson, J., Kirby, Kloba, Leavitt, Lekanoff, Macri, Morgan, Ormsby, Ortiz-Self, Orwall, Paul, Peterson, Pollet, Ramel, Ramos, Riccelli, Rule, Ryu, Santos, Sells, Senn, Shewmake, Simmons, Slatter, Stonier, Sullivan, Taylor, Thai, Tharinger, Valdez, Walen, Wicks, Wylie, Jinkins Voting

Nay: Representatives Abbarno, Barkis, Boehnke, Caldier, Chambers, Chandler, Chase, Corry, Dent, Dufault, Dye, Eslick, Gilday, Goehner, Graham, Griffey, Harris, Hoff, Jacobsen, Klicker, Klippert, Kraft, MacEwen, Maycumber, McEntire, Mosbrucker, Orcutt, Robertson, Rude, Schmick, Springer, Steele, Stokesbary, Sutherland, Vick, Volz, Walsh, Wilcox, Ybarra, Young

Absent:
Excused: Representatives Kretz, McCaslin

Committee Materials

Original Bill
Substitute Bill
Engrossed Substitute
House Bill Analysis 2022
House Bill Report
Engrossed Substitute House Bill Report
Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill Report
Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill Report (Orig.)

The bill analysis and bill report are prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Summary of Bill

House Bill Analysis Brief Summary of Joint Memorial

  • Makes void and unenforceable provisions in agreements between an employer and employee that prohibit the disclosure of conduct that is illegal discrimination, harassment, retaliation, a wage and hour violation, or sexual assault, or that is against a clear mandate of public policy, occurring in the workplace.

Senate Bill Report Brief Summary of Joint Memorial

  • Makes void and unenforceable provisions in agreements between an employer and employee that prohibit the disclosure of conduct that is illegal discrimination, harassment, retaliation, a wage and hour violation, or sexual assault, or that is against a clear mandate of public policy, occurring in the workplace.
  • Repeals the statute prohibiting nondisclosure agreements regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault occurring in the workplace.
1795-S AMH BERR TANG 130 848 Berry Floor Pg 3 Ln 23 ADOPTED 02/09/2022
1795-S AMH MOSB TANG 131 867 Mosbrucker Floor Striker NOT ADOPTED 02/09/2022

Available Videos

Live video of legislative activity is available on TVW.  Links listed for meetings in the future will be linked to live meetings.  Video links take you off of the Auburn Examiner website to the TVW website.

Jan 18, 2022 House Labor & Workplace Standards at 10:00 AM
Jan 26, 2022 House Labor & Workplace Standards at 10:00 AM
Feb 17, 2022 Senate Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs at 8:00 AM
Feb 23, 2022 Senate Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs at 10:30 AM

Did you miss our last legislative update? Check it out now

Unless otherwise noted, the above information was obtained from the official Washington State Legislative website. Future meetings are subject to change. Auburn representatives in bold.

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