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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.
The 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.
Grassley 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 Act, which 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.