DiZoglio, Backed by Former Fox News Employees, Renews Call Against Taxpayer-Paid ‘Hush’ Money

Political strategist Julie Roginsky, at podium; journalist Gretchen Carlson; and attorney Mitchell Garabedian were among those voicing support in Jnauary of 2020 for Sen. Diana DiZoglio’s bill to restrict use of non-disclosure agreements on Beacon Hill. (Sam Doran/SHNS.)

State Sen. Diana DiZoglio, renewing her call to end the abuse of non-disclosure agreements, said taxpayers should not pay “hush” money to “silence employees and victims of abuse.”

DiZoglio testified Tuesday before the legislature’s Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight on legislation she sponsored to prohibits such agreements as a condition of employment or in a settlement agreement between a governmental body and employee or student. Lending their support for the bill during the hearing were journalist, author and empowerment advocate Gretchen Carlson and political strategist Julie Roginsky, both of the advocacy group Lift Our Voices.

“It is sorely overdue that we make meaningful policy changes here in Massachusetts, not only to help those who have already been silenced but also to protect potential future victims from abusers who could be hiding in plain sight,” said DiZoglio.

Lift Our Voices was founded by Carlson, Roginsky and Diana Falzone in an effort to end the practice of mandatory non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality provisions and forced arbitration that seek to silence workers who want to speak publicly about toxic workplace conditions. Carlson and Roginsky both sued former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes for sexual harassment, while Falzone sued Fox News for gender discrimination.

Also testifying on the legislation was Act on Mass, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting transparency at the Massachusetts State House.

NDAs are legal documents that require confidentiality to protect intellectual property or trade secrets. However, DiZoglio said, they have been abused by such people as Harvey Weinstein, Steve Wynn, Larry Nassar and Roger Ailes “to hide the misdeeds of harassers and abusers by requiring the legal silencing of victims.”

These agreements have also been used in state and local governments, using taxpayer dollars, often in cases of harassment and discrimination. Massachusetts’ executive branch has publicly refused to release information regarding the amount of tax dollars spent on NDAs through the governor’s office.

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