Secret Settlements In Sexual Harassment Cases Could Soon Be Banned

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Refinery29.com | Rockie Nolan

One California lawmaker wants to put an end to the silencing of victims.

Newly proposed legislation by California Senator Connie Leyva would ban secret settlements in sexual harassment cases by 2018.

Inspired by the dozens of sexual assault and harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the proposed legislation would protect victims who often are intimidated by their perpetrators from speaking out. An estimated 3 out of every 4 victims don't report sexual harassment because they are afraid of retaliation.

Weinstein reportedly paid at least eight women to stay silent about their assault and harassment experiences and sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) to shield himself from any future legal action.

Similarly, Fox News and parent company 21st Century Fox paid $13 million in secret settlements outside of court on behalf of the network’s host Bill O’Reilly who was accused of harassment by 5 different women.

Leyva hopes this new legislation will pull back the curtain and prevent secret settlements that allow perpetrators to bully their victims and continue their crimes.


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