NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A1115A
SPONSOR: Simotas (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the labor law, in relation to the
commissioner's duty to ensure employers inform employees about certain
provisions in employment contracts
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To require that employers inform employees that non-disclosure or non-
disparagement provisions in their employment contracts do not prohibit
them from speaking with law enforcement, the equal employment opportu-
nity commission the division of human rights, a local human rights
commission, or an attorney retained by the employee.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends section 21 of the labor law by adding a new subdivision
15 to require employers to inform employees signing non-disclosure
agreements that they retain the right to report to law enforcement, the
equal employment opportunity commission, the division of human rights, a
local human rights commission, or their attorney.
Section 2 provides the effective date.
As the use of non-disclosure agreements in employment contracts has
become more widespread, there have been frequent misunderstanding s
about the rights of employees to report workplace misconduct. Many work-
ers are victims or witnesses to sexual harassment believe that if they
report to the police or cooperate with an investigation they could be
sued for violating their nondisclosure agreements. Requiring employers
to clarify the limits on non-disclosure agreements will ensure all work-
ers are aware of their legal rights and can freely report unlawful acts
without fear of retaliation. This legislation will establish an impor-
tant safeguard against the misuse of non-disclosure agreements as a tool
to silence whistleblowers.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
The ninetieth day after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2019-2020 Regular Sessions
January 14, 2019
Introduced by M. of A. SIMOTAS, ORTIZ, DINOWITZ, EPSTEIN, STIRPE,
MOSLEY, GOTTFRIED, ABINANTI, D'URSO, WALLACE, QUART, PAULIN,
SEAWRIGHT, LENTOL, CRUZ, M. G. MILLER, RA, THIELE, LUPARDO, BRAUN-
STEIN, GALEF, CYMBROWITZ, SIMON, ZEBROWSKI, FERNANDEZ, MAGNARELLI,
WRIGHT, CRESPO, NIOU, BUCHWALD -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A.
DenDEKKER -- read once and referred to the Committee on Labor --
committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and
recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation to the commissioner's duty to
ensure employers inform employees about certain provisions in employ-
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 21 of the labor law is amended by adding a new
2 subdivision 16 to read as follows:
3 16. Shall require employers to inform their employees that non-disclo-
4 sure or non-disparagement provisions in their employment contracts do
5 not prohibit them from speaking with law enforcement, the equal employ-
6 ment opportunity commission, the state division of human rights, a local
7 commission on human rights, or an attorney retained by the employee.
8 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.