WHAT’S NEW FOR 2019 « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles



Hush Money for Sexual Harassment, Assault and Retaliation Now Prohibited in California

Effective January 1, 2019

In response to the #MeToo and #WeSaidEnough movements and effective January 1, 2019, California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) 1001 bans settlement agreements prohibiting public disclosure of “factual information” related to any civil lawsuit or agency complaint alleging sexual assault, sexual harassment, and workplace or housing-related harassment, discrimination or retaliation claims related to sex. Courts may not approve settlements that violate this prohibition.

New section 1001 also permits settlement agreements to shield, at the claimant’s request, his or her identity and “all facts that could lead to the discovery” of that identity, so long as a government agency or a public official is not a party to the agreement.

In apparent recognition of the chilling effect otherwise created, section 1001 specifically does not prohibit confidentiality of an amount paid in settlement.

California has also enacted CCP 1670.11, making void and unenforceable settlement provisions that prevent a party from testifying on alleged criminal conduct or sexual harassment when required or requested to attend by a “court order, subpoena, or written request from an administrative agency or the legislature.”

Thus, when settling litigation over any such claims, the parties must of course fashion their agreements for consistency with these new sections 1001 and 1670.11.

See also:

For further assistance, please contact one of our attorneys Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Helena Kobrin

October 19, 2018