The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Speak Out Act, which will allow survivors of sexual assault or harassment on the job to go public even if they’ve signed nondisclosure agreements.
The Senate had already passed the bill by unanimous consent, and President Joe Biden is expected to sign it.It was sponsored in the House by Democratic Rep.
Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania, and it passed the House Wednesday with a bipartisan vote of 315-109. “It will now make it easier for victims to seek justice and deter bad behavior,” Scanlon told fellow House members before the vote.“NDAs are meant to protect trade secrets and business dealings,” she added. “Why would anyone try to enable their use in covering up sexual assault?”She also noted that even though the Senate OK’d the bill unanimously (on September 29), far-right Republicans in the House have set up obstacles, forcing hours of debate and four votes to pass it.But now it has been approved.
It prohibits NDAs “from being enforced in instances in which sexual harassment or sexual assault has been alleged in violation of federal, tribal, or state law and in situations in which survivors wish to break their silence,” according to a press release from another supporter, Democratic Rep.