Utah’s #MeToo Law:
Utah Prohibits Confidentiality Provisions that Restrict the Disclosure of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment

Earlier this year, Governor Cox signed into law House Bill 55, which amends the Utah Antidiscrimination Act to make confidentiality clauses regarding sexual misconduct against public policy, void, and unenforceable. Provisions that are made unenforceable by the amendment include non-disclosure and non-disparagement provisions that prevent an employee from disclosing or discussing sexual assault, sexual harassment, or allegations related to such conduct. Additionally, the new law restricts employers from retaliating against employees for making an allegation of sexual harassment or assault, or for refusing to enter into a prohibited confidentiality clause as a condition of employment.

The new law also imposes an additional requirement for settlement agreements that include a confidentiality clause regarding sexual misconduct. If such a provision is included in a settlement agreement, the employee (or former employee) must be provided with at least three business days to withdraw from the settlement agreement.

The new law invokes penalties against employers who attempt to enforce a confidentiality clause that is in violation of the new requirements. Penalties can include costs and attorney fees arising out of the enforcement of such a confidentiality clause. The requirements of the new law are retroactive to January 1, 2023.

In response to these updates, employers should review their Proprietary Information and Invention Agreements (PIIA), or other similar agreements and policies, to make sure that they do not improperly restrict employees from making protected disclosures. Also, in drafting settlement agreements containing such confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions, employers should ensure that employees are provided at least three business days to revoke their agreement, regardless of their age. If you have any questions about these new requirements, please contact your Kunzler, Bean & Adamson Attorneys.
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