In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and subsequent explosion of media coverage on sexual harassment in various workplaces, Maryland's legislature has chosen to respond with new legislation. Effective October 1, 2018, the state's new sexual harassment law precludes employers from limiting any procedural or substantive rights of employees to file claims for sexual harassment or retaliation for reporting harassment in the workplace.
The allegations against movie production giant, Harvey Weinstein, have sent ripples across Hollywood and throughout. In the weeks since the New York Times initially published their account of Weinstein’s egregious behavior, waves of workplace sexual harassment allegations have crested against other power players.
Despite the many state and federal laws that bar sexual harassment in the workplace, sexual harassment is still a major problem. Every year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), investigates thousands of sexual harassment claims. In fact, in 2016 this federal agency investigated nearly 13,000 sexual harassment cases.
For months now, anyone driving by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) headquarters in Arlington may have seen a woman in business attire marching around the building holding up a sign and passing out flyers.
Sexual harassment by managers, supervisors or co-workers happens in every line of work. In some industries, however, sexual harassment is likely to be more common. Earlier in October, 15 McDonald's employees filed harassment claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In light of this news, Motto, a website run by Time Magazine, commissioned a survey about sexual harassment in the fast food industry. The results were eye-opening.
Former Fox News Host Gretchen Carlson settled her sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes for $20 million dollars. The case settled two months after Ms. Carlson filed her complaint.
Allegations involving workplace sexual harassment can be very upsetting for both the employer and the employee. These are situations that must be taken seriously and handled appropriately so that the rights of all parties are protected.
Just 50 miles east of Greenbelt is Queen Anne’s County, Maryland. That’s where wrongful termination litigation was recently settled between a former sheriff’s deputy and the county.