UPDATE: Dec. 7, 2022: President Biden signed the Speak Out Act into law Wednesday afternoon. It will go into effect immediately.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Speak Out Act on Wednesday. The bill, which the Senate passed by unanimous consent Sept. 29, will head to President Joe Biden’s desk.
The White House released a letter in support of the Speak Out Act on Nov. 14.
The Speak Out Act would render unenforceable workplace predispute nondisclosure and nondisparagement clauses involving sexual assault and sexual harassment. It follows a similar bill signed into law in February, the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act, which invalidated mandatory arbitration agreements in such cases.
The Senate bill, considered as a House resolution and sponsored by Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Penn., passed the House in a 315-109 vote.
Support for ending forced arbitration and nondisclosure agreements in workplace disputes has been on the rise — in a rare instance of bipartisan support in recent years.
Advocates of ending such workplace policies include former Fox News anchors Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky and their organization Lift Our Voices. They have said they aim to broaden their focus to address using NDAs and mandatory arbitration agreements among other categories protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, such as age, disability and race.