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Changes to Enforcement of NDAs in Resolving Sexual Harassment and Assault Claims in Utah 

Effective February 28, 2024Utah House Bill 55 (H.B. 55) significantly impacts how employers in the state handle allegations of sexual assault and harassment by limiting an employer’s ability to enforce a non-disclosure agreement about sexual misconduct as an employment condition, in addition to prohibiting retaliation related to such claims. 

If an agreement includes a monetary settlement; facts that could identify the employee who was sexually assaulted or harassed; protections for non-public trade secrets, proprietary information; and/or other confidential information that does not involve illegal acts, then it may contain a non-disclosure or non-disparagement clause.  

Those who enter into an agreement must be allowed to withdraw from the agreement up to three days after the agreement is signed. In doing so, they can also discuss sexual misconduct they have incurred in a legal case against their attacker.  

Next Steps 

Employers should review any existing agreements to identify any unenforceable confidentiality clauses related to sexual assault or harassment and make revisions as needed. Employers should also ensure that their anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies are clear and comprehensive, emphasizing employees’ rights to report sexual assault and harassment without fear of reprisal and that all employees have been trained on what constitutes harassment in the workplace. 

It is also strongly recommended that employers who use agreements collaborate with their legal counsel to develop and implement an agreement that is enforceable and does not violate any federal or state laws. 

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.