Bloomberg to Permit Women to Seek Releases from NDAs

It has been reported that Michael Bloomberg will permit his company to release 3 women who complained about certain comments from non-disclosure agreements they had signed.

The above article quotes Mr. Bloomberg as saying:

If any of them want to be released from their NDA so that they can talk about those allegations, they should contact the company and they’ll be given a release[.] … I’ve done a lot of reflecting on this issue over the past few days and I’ve decided that for as long as I’m running the company, we won’t offer confidentiality agreements to resolve claims of sexual harassment or misconduct going forward.

The “reflecting” Mr. Bloomberg claims to have done was likely prompted by the recent democratic primary debate, in which he was criticized for his company’s use of such agreements.

Nondisclosure, or confidentiality, agreements are commonplace in settlement agreements resolving claims of employment discrimination and sexual harassment.

New York recently amended its law (see NY General Obligations Law 5-336) to provide, inter alia, that settlement agreements resolving claims of discrimination may not include “any term or condition that would prevent the disclosure of the underlying facts and circumstances to the claim or action unless the condition of confidentiality is the complainant’s preference.”

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