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AZ: Prohibit Confidentiality Agreements in Sex Assault/Harassment Cases

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The Arizona House of Representatives is considering House Bill 2020 that seeks to prohibit confidentiality agreements in cases of alleged sexual assault or sexual harassment. See here. Proposed by Rep. Maria Syms (R-Paradise Valley), HB 2020 casts any confidentiality agreement that “restricts the disclosure of factual information that is related to a sexual assault or sexual harassment, including factual information that is related to an allegation of or attempted sexual assault or sexual harassment” as against this state’s public safety and policy and therefore “void and unenforceable.” The Bill was read in the house for a second time on January 10, 2018.

Arizona’s proposal follows similar movements across the country. Lawmakers in New York, California, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey have proposed banning nondisclosure agreements in sexual harassment and other employment-related cases. See C.A. Sen. Bill No. 820 (2017-2018 Reg. Sess.), available here; 2017-2018 N.Y. Senate Bill s6382A, available here; Pa. Senate Bill 999, available here; N.J. S. 3581 (2017), available here.

The Bill also follows on from the recently enacted tax reform bill stating that no deduction is allowed for any settlement or payment related to sexual harassment or sexual abuse if the settlement or payment is subject to a nondisclosure agreement. For more detailed discussion on that topic, click here