#MeToo Is Much More Than Last Year’s News

Law360

Ian Carleton Schaefer, Jennifer Gefsky, and Susan Gross Sholinsky, Members of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, co-authored an article in Law360, titled “#MeToo Is Much More Than Last Year’s News.” (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Incredibly, just over two years following the launch of the #MeToo movement, as we’ve come to know it, we as practitioners are being asked: Are we still talking about/dealing with #MeToo? Not surprisingly, these questions come to us from employers, from the media and from anyone who has followed this movement to any degree.

These questions, while often rooted in authentic curiosity over the impact of the movement to date and moving forward, inherently imply that the movement is something of a passing phase, an aberration, a short-lived media cycle event, or even a singular-issue movement (to wit, combating and rooting out overt and egregious sexual harassment in the workplace). 

It is not. We need to zoom out. 

Indeed, it would be irresponsible for employers to view this movement in isolation. When we zoom out and take a broader view, the image becomes clear and undeniable.

The movement exists on a continuum and, indeed, is part of a dynamic, macro-equity movement that includes pay equity, diversity and inclusion efforts at both the worker and executive/board levels. It also includes such other issues as paid family and paid sick leave developments, and a significant broadening of the anti-discrimination laws at the state and local levels, particularly in the relative void of federal action in recent years.

Far from being over and done or last year’s news, we are of the view that, taken together, we are in an early-cycle #MeToo correction period.