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Former Apple worker inspires Washington state measure seeking to curb NDAs

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SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 24 (Reuters) – A former Apple Inc worker who had filed a whistleblower grievance associated to Apple’s use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) has impressed draft laws in Washington state that seeks to prohibit firms’ use of NDAs in settlements of office harassment and discrimination claims.

The draft laws in Washington state comes on the heels of an analogous regulation in California.

Washington state Senator Karen Keiser and Representative Liz Berry, each Democrats, are engaged on payments of their respective homes, which they plan to introduce within the subsequent legislative session, their workplaces confirmed this week.

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Cher Scarlett, a former Apple worker and Washington state resident who has performed a number one function in worker activism, stated she reached out to Keiser in October to elevate consciousness concerning the difficulty.

“No worker should be silenced from sharing their deeply personal story of harassment or discrimination in the workplace just because they signed an NDA,” Berry stated in an announcement to Reuters.

NDAs are commonplace within the know-how business. Some workers have alleged that tech giants use the agreements to discourage legally protected actions similar to discussions of working situations.

In September, investor Nia Impact Capital filed a shareholder proposal calling for Apple’s board to put together a “public report assessing the potential risks to the company associated with its use of concealment clauses in the context of harassment, discrimination and other unlawful acts.”

Apple in October filed a response to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission saying it needed to exclude the proposal as a result of “the company’s policy is to not use such clauses.”

After viewing Apple’s response, Scarlett stated she filed an SEC whistleblower grievance in October alleging that Apple had made false and deceptive statements to the regulator. She additionally shared paperwork with Nia Impact Capital.

Scarlett, who left Apple final week, stated she determined to go public with that data this week, in violation of the phrases of her settlement with Apple. Business Insider first reported particulars of her story.

Apple declined to remark. The firm has beforehand stated it’s “deeply committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace.”

The draft laws in Washington echoes the “Silenced No More Act,” signed into regulation this 12 months in California and co-sponsored by tech whistleblower Ifeoma Ozoma.

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Reporting by Julia Love; Editing by Leslie Adler

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