When veteran broadcast journalist Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against her former boss, Roger Ailes of Fox news, she never expected to be at the forefront of the campaign to end sexual harassment in the workplace. However, in an op-ed for The New York Times she said she wants to do everything she can to end it and called on men to join in the fight to make the workplace free from sexual harassment. After Fox first terminated her employment and then settled her lawsuit for $20 million, Carlson said she received an outpouring of letters, emails, and texts from other victims that have inspired her to continue speaking on their behalf.
Many employers require their workers to sign an arbitration clause as part of their contracts, thus preventing a direct lawsuit in case of any conflict in the workplace. Disputes between parties go directly to an arbitrator where amounts awarded tend to be significantly smaller than damages that a plaintiff could win in court. Some employment contracts also bind the employee to secrecy when filing a complaint making it less likely that other victims will come forward. Carlson also points out that the rules of evidence and civil procedure do not apply to arbitration as they would in open court, and that victims do not have the right to an appeal under the rules of arbitration. She plans to testify before Congress to help fight forced arbitration.
A Societal Issue
In an article from October 31, 2016, Time magazine describes the conversation around harassment, sexual assault, and sexism as having “gone from a whisper to a roar,” as women on college campuses, in the military, and in the workplace come forward to pursue their cases in court. Gretchen Carlson said that besides re-assessing sexual harassment training programs and creating a standard to measure their effectiveness, men and women must work together to solve this issue. Men need to hire more women and then treat them with the respect they deserve and speak up when their colleagues do not. “Locker room talk” cannot be passed over and excused as acceptable behavior, or worse egged on and enabled. Carlson asks that we raise our children, boys and girls, to respect their colleagues in the same way they would respect their moms and sisters.
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight Sexual Harassment in Philadelphia
Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. is a pre-eminent law firm in the field of employment law. If you or someone you love has been a victim of sexual harassment, we have over 40 years of experience to win you the compensation you deserve. Call our Philadelphia employment lawyers at 215-569-1999 for a free consultation about your case, or fill out an online form.