Document Type and Release Option
Thesis (open access)
Dr. Stephanie Sipe
The era of the #MeToo Movement has brought about significant change in both personal and professional lives. With support from the community, many survivors of sexual assault are now able to publicly confront the atrocities that have happened to them. Further, and as a result of this impetus, historic legislation and internal action have caused many companies to end their mandatory arbitration practices for sexual harassment complaints. The ending of mandatory employer-sponsored arbitration opens the door to a significant change in the way discrimination and harassment complaints are resolved in the workplace. More employees than ever are now able to take their cases directly to court, likely increasing the number of employee discrimination and harassment cases brought through the United States court system. With the addition of the recent #MeToo movement cases now seeking a court remedy, we can then only assume the percent of employee claims of sexual harassment that are denied a trial, and at least the appearance of “justice”, by summary judgment will rise. Based on current data, most employment discrimination cases filed in court are resolved using the pretrial tool of summary judgment, which hinders an affected employee from truly having his or her “day in court”. Although this change is considered a “win” for employees, it is not without consequence. This article will review the impact of the upcoming changes to employee discrimination and harassment claims, and will propose reforms to existing law to ensure employees who bring sexual harassment claims have an opportunity to seek justice.
Martinez, Maygen, "Seeking Justice: Reform to the Resolution of Sexual Harassment Workplace Claims" (2020). Honors College Theses. 504.