SANTA FE — The state House late Thursday passed a bill that would prohibit enforcement of nondisclosure agreements in sexual harassment cases.
The legislation, House Bill 21, would apply to agreements entered into May 20 or later between employees — or former employees — and private employers.
The proposal now heads to the Senate, which must also grant approval for the legislation to reach the governor’s desk.
The proposed law would cover cover discrimination and retaliation cases, in addition to sexual harassment. Confidentiality provisions would be permitted at the request of the employee.
The bill “gives victims of sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation back one of the most important things that can be taken from them during and after the reporting process: their voice,” Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil, an Albuquerque Democrat and sponsor of the legislation, said in a written statement. “After tonight, New Mexicans have a much better chance of eliminating inherent power imbalances that exist with such claims and handing control of such settlements back to those most affected — the victims.”