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Silenced No More Act Headed to Governor Newsom’s Desk

Image depicting the breaking of a non-disclosure agreement.
The Focal Project
Flickr Creative Commons
Image depicting the breaking of a non-disclosure agreement.

SB 331, created by Inland Empire State Senator Connie Leyva, cleared all its legislative hurdles on Monday and is headed to Governor Gavin Newsom's desk.

CA State Senator Connie Leyva speaking at a San Bernardino Valley College event.
CA State Senator Connie Leyva speaking at a San Bernardino Valley College event.

If the Silenced No More Act is passed, the bill would expand the prohibition on overly broad confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses in employment agreements to cover workers who are required to sign these types of clauses as a severance agreement.

State Senator Connie Leyva spoke with KVCR's Jonathan Linden about the act.

Senator Leyva`stated the bill "Expands on what SB 820 did, and this makes sure that no form of harassment will be tolerated in the workplace. It closes the loop on something that has been used for so long to silence workers and survivors, and those are non-disclosure agreements."

She added, "Workers would know that they now have the right to come forward and that they cannot be sued for coming forward about anything that is being done illegally to them in the workplace."

She said that two Pinterest employees are who insured her to write this bill, saying, "That [she] had to give big kudos to Ifeoma and Aerica from Pinterest who came forward. These are two amazing women that lost their jobs when they reported that they were being harassed and racially discriminated against."

Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks came forward in a Washington Post article in July of 2020. They said Pinterest created a den of discrimination, despite its image as the nicest company in tech.

The Act will now head to Governor Newsom's desk, with it still undetermined if he will sign it into law.

Jonathan Linden was a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and served with the station till October 2022.