Accessibility Tools

Skip to main content

What Does the New #MeToo Inspired Law Mean for Business?

Written on .

A rare bipartisan effort has brought us a new federal law that was enacted in response to the #MeToo movement. This new law will prohibit companies from forcing employees to use arbitration, rather than the courts, to resolve cases involving sexual harassment or sexual assault in the workplace.

Why do we need this new law? Many people have complained that forced arbitration tends to unfairly favor businesses and keep these types of claims out of the public eye. Businesses generally favor arbitration over jury trials for a number of reasons, including the cost, length of time to resolve claims, and less emotion influencing the result.

As of the effective date of this law, companies will be unable to enforce written arbitration agreements that require employees or former employees to resolve claims of workplace sexual harassment or sexual assault through the arbitration process. This will make these types of claims much more attractive to the plaintiff’s lawyers because the monetary value of these cases, especially egregious ones, will increase substantially.

Pro Tip: Now is a good time for businesses to review their policies and procedures that prohibit harassment in the workplace. And when is the last time that you have done any harassment prevention training? It is not enough to talk to employees and managers about harassment at orientation and never bring it up again. Rather, your business should be taking regular affirmative steps to prevent workplace harassment.

Kathleen J. Jennings
Kathleen J. Jennings
Former Principal

Kathleen J. Jennings is a former principal in the Atlanta office of Wimberly, Lawson, Steckel, Schneider, & Stine, P.C. She defends employers in employment matters, such as sexual harassment, discrimination, Wage and Hour, OSHA, restrictive covenants, and other employment litigation and provides training and counseling to employers in employment matters.

Related Content

Get Email Updates

Receive newsletters and alerts directly in your email inbox. Sign up below.

Recent Content

From the historic bronze doors at Los Angeles City Hall.

NLRB to Seek Rescission of past Discipline Imposed under Overbroad Employer Work Rules

In a memo issued during April, NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo announced that when the NLRB seeks to rescind overbroad and thus ill...
dashcam

Do Drive Cam Cameras inside Trucks Violate Employee Rights?

As a safety measure, many employers with driver employees have installed cameras inside the cab to alert drivers and monitor their safe d...
amazon app, mobile phone, table, indoors

Amazon Considers Risk When Investigating Employee Misconduct

In a legal conference in March, Amazon Corporate Counsel Lee Langston stated that aggressive enforcement actions of the NLRB have impacte...
Person signing a contract

Latest NLRB Attack Goes beyond Non-Compete Agreements to Reach Outside Employment

An interesting article concludes that the NLRB is invalidating employer rules "one clause at a time."  On January 31, 2024, the NLRB's Di...
black lives matter painted on a wall

NLRB Board Addresses BLM Insignia at Work

In a February 21, 2024 ruling, the NLRB reversed an administrative law judge's conclusion that writing "Black Lives Matter" (BLM) on apro...
indoors, workplace

Walk-Around Rule Allowing Union Reps to Accompany Safety Inspectors to Go into Effect

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its "Walk-Around Rule" in April, to take effect on May 31, 2024.  ...