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The Weinstein Verdict and the Workplace

Harvey Weinstein

The Weinstein verdict on Monday, February 24, 2020, was a turning point in the global phenomenon known as #metoo. For starters, the verdict shows that even the richest, most powerful and protected people are not above the law. Tina Tchen, president and CEO of the Time’s Up Foundation, said in a statement that the jury’s decision marks a turning point not just for the “silence breakers” who spoke out against Weinstein but “for all survivors of harassment, abuse, and assault at work.” Further, “The jury’s verdict sends a powerful message to the world of just how much progress has been made since the Weinstein silence breakers ignited an unstoppable movement,” Tchen said.

So what now? The verdict shows that sexual harassment – even in the most complicated of circumstances – will not be ignored or swept under the rug. Hopefully, this message will be heard by employees suffering through the trauma of sexual harassment in the workplace and are afraid to speak out. We hope that with the knowledge that no one is above the law will empower targets to speak out. It is only with the continued courage and bravery of silence breakers that we can hope to break this disgusting power dynamic that has infected the workplace for so many years.

In 2018, even before the verdict, New York State and the New York City Council sought to strengthen the laws prohibiting workplace sexual harassment. It is now legally required for all employers to conduct annual, interactive sexual harassment training, have a written policy in place and a clear complaint procedure. There are certainly additional measures that employers can take to ensure that sexual harassment does not exist in the workplace and that starts at the C-suite level.

Discuss Your Case with Experienced Legal Representatives

It takes great courage to stand up to sexual harassment. At Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP, we take pride in fiercely defending the legal rights of our clients. 

Contact Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP at (646) 490-0221 to schedule a consultation.