Salesforce and Slack will loosen NDA restrictions for all US employees

They're giving workers more freedom to discuss workplace harassment or discrimination.

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Kris Holt
April 29, 2022 6:45 PM
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 01: A bicyclist cycles past a Slack logo outside its headquarters on December 1, 2020 in San Francisco, California. Cloud-based enterprise software company Salesforce announced on Tuesday that it will purchase the popular workplace-chat app for $27.7 billion. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
Stephen Lam via Getty Images

Salesforce says it will loosen non-disclosure agreements for all of its employees in the US, including those at subsidiary Slack. The company was required to do so for workers in California under the state's Silenced No More Act, though it will extend the measures to workers across the country.

The law gives employees more freedom to discuss instances of workplace harassment and discrimination even if they have signed NDAs. It took effect on January 1st. Salesforce says it will extend the protections to all US employees by the end of this year. "Our employees are key stakeholders, and it’s critical that we offer them the support to ensure they’re happy, healthy and protected," the company wrote in a blog post.

A group called the Transparency in Employment Agreements Coalition has been using shareholder proposals to pressure the likes of Salesforce, Meta, Alphabet and Apple to extend Silenced No More protections to all employees, as Protocol notes.

Alphabet affirmed in an SEC filing this month that even if they had signed NDAs, employees are free to discuss workplace assault, harassment or discrimination as well as any retaliation for reporting or opposing those. Before the law came into effect, Pinterest said it would not enforce NDAs in cases of racial and gender-based discrimination.

In a proxy statement in January, Apple said that "employees are permitted to speak openly about unlawful acts in the workplace, including harassment and discrimination." For that and other reasons, it urged shareholders to vote against a proposal that would require the company to prepare and publish a report that examines the possible risk to the company related to "concealment clauses in the context of harassment, discrimination and other unlawful acts." However, shareholders approved that proposal at a meeting in March. Meanwhile, the SEC is reportedly investigating Apple's use of NDAs following a complaint by a whistleblower.

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