Gretchen Carlson, Julie Roginsky and Diana Falzone, each of whom sued Fox News Channel and/or Roger Ailes with accusations of sexual harassment, retaliation or discrimination, have launched a nationwide effort to end the mandatory use of non-disclosure agreements.
Lift Our Voices will seek to end NDAs, confidentiality provisions and forced arbitration clauses that the group says have prevented employees from publicly discussing and disclosing toxic workplace conditions, including sexual harassment and assault.
The announcement of the new organization arrives just as Jay Roach’s film Bombshell, starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and John Lithgow, is about to hit theaters later this month. The film dramatizes the real-life efforts of women at Fox News to expose then-CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment.
“Lift Our Voices believes that every workplace must treat everyone who walks through its doors with dignity and respect,” Carlson, Roginsky and Falzone said in a statement. “For years, survivors of toxic workplace environments have either been forced into arbitration or to sign NDAs as a condition of employment, settlement or in order to receive a severance package. This is akin to a professional scarlet letter with potentially long-lasting ramifications. It can be career-ending, and often causes deep emotional, financial, and professional trauma. Even as the #MeToo movement opens the floodgates and brings issues of workplace toxicity to the forefront, survivors must remain silent while others warp the facts. The current paradigm, which silences workers and takes away their right to share their own experiences, must end.”
Lift Our Voices is described as an education and advocacy organization designed to create a cultural shift “where all current and former workers and volunteers are able to speak truth to power without adverse consequences and fear of retaliation.”