Ending Harassment By Starting with Retaliation
14 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2019 Last revised: 9 Feb 2019
Date Written: 2018
The #MeToo movement has shined a much-needed spotlight on harassment in the workplace. But with that increased attention, the narrative that has developed does not necessarily reflect reality. The #MeToo narrative tells a story of women reporting harassment at record levels; employers taking the complaints seriously; and victims of the harassment having the harassment remedied without any negative consequences. In reality, reporting rates of harassment are very low in large part because victims of harassment fear retaliation if they report it. Thus, this paper argues that we cannot hope to end harassment without starting by addressing the reality of retaliation. In addition to discussing the fear of retaliation, and how difficult it is to bring a valid retaliation claim, I also explore possible reforms — to the law of retaliation, and changes employers might implement to decrease retaliation and increase the reporting of harassment so that it can be remedied.
Keywords: harassment, employment, discrimination, women, retaliation
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