sexual harassment

  • January 24, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Muriel Bowser, Mayor, Washington, DC

    Amid the much-needed and continuing conversation on sexual harassment across the country, my team and I undertook a deeply introspective and forward-looking review of the District of Columbia’s sexual harassment policy.

    The Challenge. I hope that our policy and program of trainings, reporting, and remediation inspire action by other cities, corporations, universities, law firms, non-profit organizations, and other governmental employers. Indeed, I challenge other leaders to create a culture of respect, to rearticulate norms against sexual harassment, to empower their workforces to report unwanted and harassing sexual conduct, and to establish effective remedies for sexual harassment. While sexual harassment does not only victimize women, taking strong action to combat harassment will in turn help to empower women, a cause near and dear to my heart.

    On December 18, 2017, I signed an updated Mayor’s Order on sexual harassment that clearly defines sexual harassment, reporting, protections, defenses, and available training. While grounded on principles found within the District of Columbia Human Rights Act of 1977, this new policy is in line with current laws, technology, culture, and workplace dynamics. All District Government employees have received a copy of this policy and clear guidance that sexual harassment is strictly prohibited in District government.

  • January 8, 2018
    Guest Post

    by Terri Gerstein, Leadership in Government Fellow, Open Society Foundations

    Last month, Microsoft announced that it will no longer require employees to bring sexual harassment claims to arbitration. This is welcome news, and a step in the right direction. But this move should be a first step. Microsoft now has the opportunity to lead the business community in eliminating these agreements not just for sexual harassment issues, but altogether. Microsoft could also use its considerable leverage to require its subcontractors to do the same. Meanwhile, federal and state government leaders should take their own actions to stop the harmful consequences of the exploding trend of forced arbitration.

  • December 19, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft

    *This piece was originally posted on Microsoft On The Issues
    Across the country, recurring news stories about sexual harassment have opened our collective eyes to a critical problem right under our nose: sexual harassment. As many rightly have said, the #MeToo movement has created a national reckoning. As we’ve talked with and listened to our own employees at Microsoft, we’ve realized that it also needs to be more than this. It needs national reflection.
  • December 6, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Terri Gerstein, Leadership in Government Fellow, Open Society Foundations

    *This piece was originally posted on On Labor.

    We are experiencing a watershed moment in relation to sexual harassment: boldface names fall daily, and women are speaking up as never before. This is one of those moments when norms change, presenting a tremendous opportunity. Proposals that seemed unrealistic last year could now be taken seriously in the political sphere.
    In the Guardian last weekend, Sharon Block and I outlined an agenda for bringing sexual harassment to light sooner, punishing it appropriately, and above all, preventing it in the first place. In the interest of furthering the conversation, this post elaborates on those ideas, and also aggregates several noteworthy articles proposing thoughtful reforms.
  • November 16, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Celine McNicholas, Labor Counsel, Economic Policy Institute and Sharon Block, Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School

    After the news that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein had been sexually harassing and assaulting women in the movie industry for decades, millions of women shared their stories with the hashtag #metoo. The social media campaign shined a light on a fact that to many women: sexual harassment is a daily fact of life in the workplace. Many American corporations foster—or at least tolerate—widespread, egregious sexual harassment of their workers, even all these years after U.S. law first recognized sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination. As the Supreme Court considers the first case of its term, National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil, we hope they have read the stories about Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly and other men, as well as the millions of people who spoke up online.