In previous decades, the real-life and on-the-job experience that workers 40 and older brought to the workplace was valued by employers that, in an effort to retain seasoned workers, willingly doled out promotions and higher salaries. This included technology companies like IBM.
It’s been 40 years since members of the United States Congress signed into law legislation known as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. The passage of the PDA came on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in which the court sided with General Electric, upholding a lower court’s ruling that GE’s temporary disability benefits could exclude pregnancy and childbirth.
From Hollywood producers and media moguls to Washington politicians and boardroom executives, the recent “Me Too” movement has brought down some of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the country. While the sexual harassment and abuse allegations and lawsuits against Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Bill Cosby and President Trump make headlines, the “Me Too” movement is also shining a light on millions of other women who have been subjected to lewd comments, inappropriate touching and physical assault in the workplace.
Every day, more accusations of sexual harassment are being made against powerful figures in politics, entertainment and the corporate world. Now, the role of confidentiality agreements and nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) is becoming a subject of scrutiny. In particular, several of the women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct essentially broke nondisclosure agreements they had signed.