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Posts tagged #MeToo
States Respond to #MeToo Movement by Enacting Laws Designed to Curb Sex Harassment in the Workplace

The #MeToo movement has caught the attention of state legislatures across the country. So far, twelve states—ArizonaCaliforniaDelawareIllinoisLouisianaMaryland, Nebraska, New YorkOregonTennesseeWashington State, and Vermont—have enacted new laws providing protections related to sexual harassment in private and public sector workplaces.

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Uptick in Sexual Harassment Claims Reported in Wake of #MeToo Movement

The number of sex harassment claims filed against employers has increased in the year since the #MeToo movement began. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) preliminary 2018 figures show that just under 10,000 sexual harassment claims have been filed to date in 2018, which is a three percent increase over the previous year.

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Bill Seeks to Curb Workplace Harassment

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers have introduced House and Senate bills that seek to further deter workplace sexual harassment by: (1) banning non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses in employment contracts, and limiting the use of such clauses in settlement agreements; (2) requiring public companies to provide annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosing details about workforce harassment settlements and judgments; and (3) establishing a confidential tip line for employees to report harassment to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  

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Arbitration Agreements Under Fire in the #MeToo Era

In the wake of the #MeToo environment, legislators in several states and in Congress have taken aim at arbitration agreements as they apply to claims of sexual harassment in the workplace.  Additionally, all 56 attorneys general recently sent a letter to Congress asking it to prevent employers from requiring that sexual harassment claims be resolved through arbitration.

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The “#MeToo” Impact on Sexual Harassment Claims

In the #MeToo era, consequences of harassment allegations are far-reaching and often take effect without the filing of a lawsuit. Last week Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts, stepped down after allegations of sexual misconduct put pressure on his ability to remain in his former position and shares of Wynn Resorts stock plummeted nearly 20%.

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Guidance for Employers in the Wake of the #MeToo Movement

The #MeToo movement—in which women and men have used social media to share their stories of sexual harassment—has had wide-reaching effects. The movement has exposed harassment by esteemed entertainers, businesspeople, and newsmen, resulted in numerous termination decisions, and, some say, has “destigmatize[ed]” the issue for victims of sexual abuse and harassment.

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