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“Me Too” Evidence in a #MeToo World

Before “#MeToo” became a movement, it was a well-known, damaging type of evidence to employers litigating discrimination claims. “Me too” in the employment litigation context refers to evidence that employees other than the plaintiff also were also discriminated against. Employers had traditionally sought, with mixed results, to exclude such evidence as improper character evidence under FRE 404(b) or as substantially more prejudicial than probative under FRE 403. Debate raged over admissibility. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court tackled the issue and held that “me too” evidence is not per se admissible or inadmissible. See Sprint/United Mgmt. Co. v. Mendelsohn, 552 U.S. 379, 388 (2008). Rather, the Court found, admissibility depends on a fact-intensive inquiry.

Sexual Harassment Charges Increase Once Again, According To EEOC Stats

Despite a 10 percent overall drop in the number of charges of employment discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just reported that sexual harassment charges filed with the agency jumped by 13.6 percent from the previous year. The 7,609 sexual harassment charges received in FY clearly demonstrate that the #MeToo movement is in no way slowing down. What do employers need to know about this development?

Sexual Harassment Prevention: Employers Must Do More

As sexual harassment in the workplace continues to be a focus for businesses, workers and enforcement agencies, evolving requirements and workplace demands have caused employers to focus on prevention strategies.

eLABORate: Spreading Workplace Rumors of "Sex for Promotions" Can Constitute Sexual Harassment

In a significant decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed a lower court and held that false workplace rumors that a female employee had been promoted for having sex with her boss could serve as the basis for sexual harassment and retaliation claims against an employer. The case also serves as a warning to employers of the costs involved in not effectively addressing such situations.

A Cautionary Tale: The Importance of Implementing Proper Policies

Employers have little control over employees’ bad, impulsive decisions. However, employers have full control over how they respond to a complaint of harassment. Any employer can ensure it investigates an allegation of harassment. Failure to do so can be costly.

Rumors and Gossip in Workplace Can Create Employer Liability for Harassment, Fourth Circuit Holds

Employers may be liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act for failing to effectively address and stop gossip and rumors of an alleged sexual relationship between a female employee and a male supervisor, the federal appeals court in Richmond has held. Parker v. Reema Consulting Servs., No. 18-1206 (4th Cir. Feb. 8, 2019).

Healthcare Lawyers Meeting Highlights Need for a Coordinated Approach to Preventing Sexual Harassment in Hospitals

Speakers at the 2019 American Health Lawyers Association’s Physicians and Hospitals Law Institute repeatedly emphasized the importance of a coordinated approach to preventing harassment in hospitals.

“Would You Sleep With the Manager to Get This Job?” Asks Subway Manager

A manager of a Subway sandwich restaurant in Albany, New York allegedly had a practice of texting minor job applicants about whether they would sleep with him to get the job. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the federal watchdog for anti-employment discrimination laws, sued the Franchisee who owns the restaurant, alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. The Franchisee settled, agreeing to pay $80,000 to the two applicants who alleged receiving such texts.

Avoidance of Women is Not the Answer to the #MeToo Movement

Since October 2017, companies have been grappling with how to respond to the #MeToo movement. We have seen employers impose enhanced sexual harassment policies and conduct more robust internal investigations. We have seen New York State and New York City pass legislation requiring sexual harassment policies and training of every employee and more. We have seen Connecticut try, although ultimately fail, to expand its own sexual harassment training requirements. We have also, unfortunately, seen companies take an avoidance approach. Specifically, some male executives have begun avoiding women all together as a form of self-preservation. On December 3, 2018, Bloomberg.com even published an article stating Wall Street’s Rule for the #MeToo Era: Avoid Women at All Cost.

#MeToo in Medicine: Year in Review

In the year since the #MeToo movement took off in the wake of the exposé in The New York Times on Harvey Weinstein that shook the entertainment world, emboldened women (and men) have come forward to shine a light on sexual harassment in other sectors of the workforce. In the tech and media industries, allegations of sex discrimination and sexual harassment have led to the resignations, and in some cases terminations, of prominent figures, including Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and National Public Radio (NPR) Chief News Editor David Sweeney. In fact, a recent New York Times analysis found that since that exposé was published, at least 200 prominent men have lost their jobs following public allegations of sexual harassment.