On Monday, David Barrett, CEO of the expense management firm Expensify, said during a live Protocol event that he would adopt specific language in Expensify's employee agreements that would allow workers to talk about any instances of illegal harassment or discrimination in the workplace. The language comes directly from the Silenced No More Act, a bill that is currently moving through the California legislature, and would bar such restrictive NDAs in California.
During the event, Ifeoma Ozoma, a former Pinterest employee and co-sponsor of the Silenced No More Act, asked Barrett whether he would include the following sentence in all employee agreements: "Nothing in this agreement prevents you from discussing or disclosing information about unlawful acts in the workplace, such as harassment or discrimination or any other conduct you have reason to believe is unlawful."
"Sounds great. Sign me up," Barrett said. "I can't believe it's already not obvious."
Barrett previously made news when he emailed 10 million customers last year, encouraging them to vote for Joe Biden.
His pledge Monday makes Barrett the first tech leader to make such a commitment, Ozoma said. Earlier this year, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann also publicly backed the bill, but Barrett's pledge, she said, is more concrete — that is, if the company follows through. "If Expensify does it, it would likely be the first such language in employee agreements anywhere," Ozoma said following the event. "Certainly for a tech company and it would show the reach that the law can have beyond just California-based employees."