Sens. Kennedy and Sinema Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Victims of Workplace Sexual Harassment
May 03 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) today introduced the Stop Silencing Victims Act to protect victims of government workplace sexual harassment by limiting the ability of offenders who work in the public sector to hide behind nondisclosure agreements (NDAs). Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) endorsed the legislation.
The Stop Silencing Victims Act discourages abusers from repeat offending by limiting the enforceability of NDAs between public sector employers and their employees. This legislation prioritizes the victim’s privacy by allowing personally identifying information to remain confidential unless the victim chooses to make the information public.
“The federal government should set the highest standard of policies that protect victims of workplace sexual harassment,” said Sen. Kennedy. “It is unacceptable that a government employee who sexually harasses a co-worker can use a nondisclosure agreement as a get out-of-jail-free card. This legislation prioritizes the rights of the victims and ensures offenders in the public sector cannot legally be protected by nondisclosure agreements.”
“Victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment who want to speak out are too often silenced by non-disclosure agreements. Our bipartisan legislation protects and empowers victims and holds abusers accountable,” said Sen. Sinema.
“We’ve seen how mandatory non-disclosure agreements can shield serial sexual harassers and hide important information from the public,” said Scott Berkowitz, president of RAINN. “We’re grateful to Sen. Kennedy for finding a way to bring this misconduct by government employees, and the millions it costs taxpayers, to light — without silencing victims,”