Sinema Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Empower Victims of Workplace Sexual Harassment

May 6, 2019

Senator’s legislation limits non-disclosure agreements so victims aren’t silenced from speaking out

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema joined Republican Senator John Kennedy (LA) to introduce the Stop Silencing Victims Act, bipartisan legislation that protects victims of sexual harassment in government workplaces. The Senators’ legislation prioritizes victims’ privacy by limiting the enforcement of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and allowing personal information to remain confidential unless the victim chooses to make the information public.

The legislation is endorsed by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).

“Victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment who want to speak out are too often silenced by non-disclosure agreements,” said Sinema. “Our bipartisan legislation protects and empowers victims, and holds abusers accountable.”

The Stop Silencing Victims Act limits the enforceability of NDAs that would prohibit victims of sexual assault and harassment in the public sector from speaking out. This preserves a victim’s ability to enter into an NDA with his or her abuser, which many victims opt to do, but ensures they are not bound to silence—and cannot be retaliated against—if they decide at a later time to come forward.

In the U.S. House, Sinema cosponsored legislation to hold Members of Congress personally responsible for sexual misconduct. Her legislation required members of Congress to repay the Treasury for any taxpayer money spent on sexual misconduct settlements within 90 days and protected employees by providing immediate access to a dedicated advocate who could provide legal counsel and services.