Former Fox News anchors Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky support a workplace protection bill filed by Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, D-Fairfax.
House Bill 1895 would prohibit non-disclosure and non-disparagement provisions in employment contracts or settlement agreements that would bar discussion of conduct at a past workplace, at work events, and between employees and employers.
This week, Carlson Tweeted about it to her 114,000 followers and Roginsky called into a subcommittee meeting where the bill was heard Tuesday to offer her support.
“You might ask me how,” she added. “By cracking down on illicit behavior and preventing bad actors from getting away with these illegal acts of discrimination, retaliation, assault, harassment, workplace violations, waste and abuse.”
It’s something Roginsky has had multiple experiences with. She and Carlson fled high-profile lawsuits against their former employer, Roger Ailes, at Fox News asserting sexual harassment — which was depicted in the 2019 movie, “Bombshell.” Both cases have been settled.
“Sadly, [with] my NDA, I cannot tell you how accurate that movie is,” Roginsky said in an interview.
Following her job at Fox she worked for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, where she said women staff complained to her about a toxic workplace environment. She said that when she told Murphy, she was fired, and that an NDA she had signed at the beginning of her contract prevented her from speaking out for years.
“It was one of the darkest days of my life, professionally,” she recalled in a phone call.
Roginsky and Carlson, through their organization Lift Our Voices, have since connected with states in which lawmakers have worked to pass bills like Filler-Corn’s.
Filler-Corn’s bill would enable employees to point out harassment, sexual assault, fraud or other conduct “that is recognized as against a clear mandate of public policy.”
Carlson and Roginsky also wrote a column in The Times-Dispatch this week. They believe that while there is a place for confidentiality provisions like nondisclosure agreements, there is “never a good reason for organizations to cover up workplace abuse.”
The bill was reviewed by a House subcommittee Tuesday evening, which reported the measure to the Commerce and Labor Committee for consideration. Legislation filters through subcommittees and committees before the full House and Senate vote on surviving measures.