ROCKFORD, Ill. – State Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, is working to support victims of workplace sexual harassment by voting for legislation that would prohibit employers from requiring employees to sign non-disclosure agreements in sexual assault or harassment settlements.
“If someone is sexually harassed at work and receives a settlement, they should not be further punished by being required to stay silent,” said Vella. “The non-disclosure agreements make it harder for victims to recover and only helps employers sweep misconduct under the rug.”
Currently, employers are able to require employees to sign nondisclosure agreements about sexual assault or harassment settlement or termination agreements. To ensure that victims are being properly protected in these agreements, Vella voted in favor of House Bill 3418, which passed unanimously out of the House. The bill would prohibit employers from requiring employees to sign nondisclosure agreements in settlements.
Since being in office, Vella has made protecting the rights of victims a priority. He introduced legislation prohibiting the Department of Child and Family Services from taking custody of children because their parents are domestic abuse victims. Vella also passed legislation out of the House allowing no-contact orders against those convicted of a sexual crime to become permanent.
“There is no reason that our laws should be making the lives of victims more difficult while overprotecting perpetrators,” said Vella. “I will always side with victims, and will continue to work in Springfield to make sure our laws do the same.”