In recent months, there has been a lot of publicity and public discussion about sexual harassment, abuse and misconduct. One thing that is clear is that it is still rampant throughout our economy and men like Bill O''Reilly and Harvey Weinstein had repeatedly acted badly throughout the years with their only punishment being that they paid their victims off to keep them quiet. The question is, should there be laws passed to ban confidentiality agreements when sex harassment cases are settled. Although such agreements played a substantial role in allowing people like Harvey Weinstein to continue his abusive and illegal conduct for many years until the New York Times article outing him, our firm believes that banning confidentilality agreements is a bad cookie cutter solution for the typical female employee as it could deter them from coming forward knowing full well that resolution of their well founded complaints because it could hurt if not destroy their chances of seeking subsequent employment. A recent New York Times article chronicling blue collar women who have experienced horrific sex harassment includes the following quote from a victim: “Regardless of who you work for, you will run into the same people over and over again who will not want to work with you just because you reported harassment,” Concetta Defa, a construction worker in Utah, wrote. “In most cases women become unemployable because of it.” Add that fact to our internet and social media age where content cannot be erased from the web and women who bring these claims will be blackballed from future employment even if they receive a decent monetary settlement which will not allow them financial freedom to retire.
Our firm is taking the lead to come up with other legislative solutions to deter employers from treating sex harassment allegations and lawsuits as just a cost of doing business. If you have suggestions how this can be done, we are open to hearing them as we will be commuinicating with our elected representatives in Trenton to come up with solutions that do not backfire against our clients. If you believe that you have been sexually harassed and wish to explore your legal options, call us at (973) 695-7777 or email us through our website by filling out the information requested to the right of this blog.
Happy New Year to all.