#MeToo Movement Sparks State Legislation Attempting to Eliminate Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Contact

Employers and employees alike may see big changes in the upcoming year regarding state laws dealing with sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. Following the allegations against former film producer Harvey Weinstein and the rise of the #MeToo movement, the legislative floodgates have opened as a number of states have proposed bills attempting to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace.

The bills being proposed take on different forms in an attempt to end harassment. Some, like bills introduced in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, and Washington, would limit the use of confidentiality agreements. This type of law would prohibit employers from entering into non-disclosure agreements with employees regarding sexual assault and harassment claims. Other bills, like the ones proposed in New York and South Carolina, would prohibit mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment claims, as arbitration is often confidential. So far, it seems the laws are aimed at decreasing the culture of silence surrounding workplace harassment. However, states may also end up introducing legislation aimed at preventing sexual harassment before it begins by requiring workers to attend mandatory sexual harassment trainings, although no state has introduced such a bill as of yet.

As a result, employers should keep abreast of laws in their states regarding requirements surrounding sexual assault and harassment and ensure their Employee Agreements conform with state laws. Employers across multiple states should also be aware that laws surrounding these requirements may differ, as the types of bills being introduced across the country are not uniform in nature.

 

Written by:

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Contact
more
less

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.