Klunk's anti-sexual harassment bill on its way to Senate
It would be illegal for employers to require nondisclosure agreements related to sexual harassment as a condition of employment under legislation unanimously approved by the full Pennsylvania House on Wednesday.
Some employers are “protecting serial harassers among their ranks,” said state Rep. Kate Klunk, R-Hanover, who co-sponsored the bill with state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Philadelphia. “They have to come up with ways to protect their talent. This is a tool they’ve been using.”
Klunk said that a Philadelphia Democrat and a Hanover Republican may seem like an unlikely duo, but bipartisan interest arose after hearings on workplace misconduct and sexual harassment in 2018.
Those hearings came the same year that a survey by the nonprofit organization Stop Street Harassment found that 38% of women have been sexually harassed in some manner in the workplace.
The issue gained additional attention during the #MeToo movement, which Klunk said also inspired lawmakers to look into legislation.
While employers would not be allowed to require a nondisclosure agreement under the legislation, employees could agree to enter into a nondisclosure agreement voluntarily.
The bill outlines that both parties can agree to sign a nondisclosure agreement specifically when settling a claim, as victims often want to shield their identities, Klunk added.
The legislation now heads to the Senate. It is unclear when it will come up for a floor vote.
— Logan Hullinger can be reached at email@example.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.