Grassley Votes to Ensure Survivors of Sexual Assault, Harassment can Speak Out
Judiciary Committee clears bill to eliminate contractual gag orders when survivors raise alarm on sexual harassment or assault
WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee
Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), today voted to advance the Speak Out Act, legislation clarifying
that nondisclosure agreements can’t prohibit survivors from speaking out about
sexual assault or harassment. Grassley is a cosponsor of the bipartisan bill,
which the committee advanced today by voice vote.
“People who experience sexual harassment or assault should be able
to demand accountability in the courtroom or the public square, and a nondisclosure
agreement shouldn’t bar survivors from sharing their stories if they so choose.
This bipartisan bill makes clear that survivors have a right to speak out about
sexual harassment or assault regardless of any prior agreement they signed. I’m
grateful that the committee spoke with one voice today to advance this
commonsense bill,” Grassley said.
Speak Out Act ensures that employees can’t be prevented by their employer from disclosing
instances of sexual assault or harassment related to their work,
notwithstanding any nondisclosure agreement signed prior to the misconduct.
has long championed survivors’ rights, particularly when they face sexual harassment
or assault in the workplace. Grassley previously supported the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment
became law earlier this year. This law guarantees survivors have access to
courts by invalidating existing forced arbitration clauses that prevent
survivors from seeking justice and public accountability under the laws meant
to protect them.