The New York Human Rights Law Non-Disclosure Agreement: What You Need to Know

If you work in New York and have ever been given a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to sign, you may have wondered what it really means. An NDA is a legal document that seeks to prevent disclosure of confidential information between two parties. In the context of employment, an NDA could be used to prevent an employee from disclosing information about their employer’s trade secrets, proprietary information, or other sensitive data.

However, in recent years, NDAs have come under scrutiny when used to prevent employees from speaking out about discrimination or harassment they have experienced or witnessed in the workplace. In response to this growing concern, New York State has passed a new law that limits the use of NDAs in sexual harassment cases.

The New York Human Rights Law (NYHRL) Non-Disclosure Agreement prohibits employers from including provisions in an NDA that would prevent employees from reporting incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace. The law applies to all employers in New York State, regardless of size or industry.

Under the NYHRL NDA, employers may not include provisions that:

– Prohibit an individual from filing a discrimination or harassment complaint;

– Require an individual to waive their right to a hearing or to bring a discrimination or harassment claim in court;

– Require an individual to agree to confidentiality regarding the details of a discrimination or harassment claim; or

– Impose any other restriction on an individual’s right to disclose the details of a discrimination or harassment claim.

This law is particularly significant as it seeks to address the issue of workplace harassment, which has been recognized as a pervasive problem across industries and job sectors. By allowing employees to speak out about their experiences, the law creates more transparency in the workplace and encourages employers to take proactive steps to prevent harassment from occurring in the first place.

It is important to note that the NYHRL NDA does not prohibit employers from including confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements or other legal documents. However, these provisions must be written in such a way that they do not prevent employees from speaking out about harassment or discrimination.

If you are faced with signing an NDA in New York State, it is important to read the document carefully and understand your rights. If you have any questions or concerns, you should speak with an experienced attorney who can advise you on the best course of action.

In conclusion, the New York Human Rights Law Non-Disclosure Agreement is an important tool in the fight against workplace discrimination and harassment. By limiting the use of NDAs in sexual harassment cases, the law creates a more transparent and equitable workplace for all employees. If you have any questions or concerns regarding NDAs or workplace harassment, it is important to seek legal advice and understand your rights.