In a whistleblower lawsuit the Douglass Law Group brought on behalf of our client, a former HR Manager, the Defendant, a large media corporation agreed to settle the case after having lost on a motion it filed in court to dismiss the Plaintiff’s case. The lawsuit was settled under a Confidentiality provision, therefore, the parties and details may not be discussed or published. Defendants agreed to reimburse the Douglass Law Group $125,000.00 in attorneys fees and costs.
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are common in settlements of workplace wrongdoing to limit what the parties can reveal about the facts of the complaint and the terms of a settlement.
New Jersey has proposed legislation which would prohibit non-disclosure provisions in settlements of sexual harassment claims as well as ban waivers of ANY procedural right related to a discrimination, harassment, or retaliation claim under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination. Section 2 of the Senate bill (S-121) provides that “A provision in any employment contract or agreement which has the purpose or effect of concealing the details relating to a claim of discrimination, retaliation, or harassment shall be deemed against public policy and unenforceable.” This language encompasses not only settlements related to workplace sexual harassment but also religious discrimination, gender discrimination, racial discrimination, whistleblowing (CEPA claims), and more.
The current bill, S-121/A1242, passed the Senate in June 2018 by a 34-1 vote (as S-121) and is currently on the second reading in the state Assembly. If it is passed by the Assembly, the legislation will be presented to the governor for signature.