The rise of the #MeToo Movement highlights the inadequacies of Title VII, the federal law that protects against employment discrimination, including sex harassment. Title VII, in its current form, does not adequately address the needs of workers, especially low-wage workers, who already face considerable obstacles to reporting their harassment. While states have made significant strides in this area, the work of advocates for change and for survivors, like the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund and the National Women’s Law Center, is necessary so that the federal government follows suit to ensure Title VII works for all workers. In this article, we posit that changes need to be made to the time restrictions for filing Title VII claims, the severe or pervasive standard needs to be recalibrated to acknowledge the significant harassment workers face, the damages cap in Title VII should be adjusted for inflation to truly compensate survivors and discourage future misconduct by employers, mandatory nondisclosure agreements should be curtailed to stop silencing survivors, and the retaliation framework needs to place a greater burden on the employer. Until such a time as these changes are made and sexual harassment in the workplace becomes a thing of the past, the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund will continue to provide advocacy services to low-wage workers in order to help them achieve workplaces that are safe and respectful.
Sarah D. Heydemann & Sharyn Tejani,
LEGAL CHANGES NEEDED TO STRENGTHEN THE #METOO MOVEMENT,
Rich. Pub. Int. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.richmond.edu/pilr/vol22/iss2/8