Glassdoor was founded on the premise that greater transparency around jobs and companies will allow people to make more informed decisions about where they choose to work. Approximately 30 million monthly unique users come to Glassdoor each month to search for jobs and evaluate career opportunities using reviews, ratings, and salary reports left anonymously by other Glassdoor users.
While most employers today recognize that the value of this level of workplace transparency helps candidates better evaluate if they’d be a good fit at their company, there are a very small subset of employers — less than one percent of the 540,000 employers currently reviewed on Glassdoor — that use threats and intimidation tactics to attempt to silence workers from sharing their opinions. One such tactic in the U.S. is to initiate Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or SLAPPs, which are lawsuits that have no merit but instead try to intimidate legitimate free speech. Fortunately, in the U.S., Glassdoor users enjoy broad free speech protections under the First Amendment, but procedural legal protections are still regulated at the state level. While the majority of U.S. states have implemented some form of Anti-SLAPP protections to address these types of meritless lawsuits, these are inconsistent and constantly challenged.
This is why Glassdoor has joined Yelp, TripAdvisor, American Society of News Editors, National Association of Broadcasters, Internet Association, Center for Democracy and Technology, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Consumer Technology Association and dozens more in supporting this bi-partisan legislation, entitled the SPEAK FREE Act, that was examined yesterday in a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. Glassdoor submitted testimony for the record from our Deputy General Counsel, Tom O’Brien.
As law, the SPEAK FREE Act will provide many Americans living in states without an effective Anti-SLAPP law with means to fight abusive litigation by authorizing Federal courts to determine whether a lawsuit targeting speech is a SLAPP. Plus, it will allow defendants who prevail on an Anti-SLAPP motion with the ability to recover any legal fees from the plaintiffs who filed the baseless lawsuit. It is important to note that the proposed law would still allow plaintiffs to move forward with valid legal claims, should the court determine there is merit.
If, like us, you believe in the power of information transparency, importance of free speech, and value of personal opinions and user-generated content, we encourage you to join us in supporting the SPEAK FREE Act.
Click here to find your member of Congress and tell them to co-sponsor the SPEAK FREE Act. Additionally, if you have been threatened by or have been a defendant in a SLAPP suit, consider joining with others to share your story (anonymously or not) in support of the legislation.
To download the letter to the original co-sponsors from a growing coalition group that includes Glassdoor, click here.