High-profile harassment case update: Carlson continues to fight

Posted in Sexual Harassment on October 25, 2016

We shined a spotlight on the prevalent and enduring reality of sexual harassment directed at women in the workplace in a blog post from this past summer, noting in our July 21 entry a double-edged sword aspect of that scourge.

On the one hand, we pointed out media assertions signaling material change regarding that subject matter, noting a growing view “that women are becoming progressively empowered when they challenge high-level male employees who engage in harassing behaviors.”

On the other hand, though, we felt it incumbent to note the continuing stories and evidence that emerge indicating that on-the-job sexual harassment targeting female employees “is a seemingly intractable and endemic reality.”

If Gretchen Carlson has her way, we’re likely to hear a lot more on the topic in upcoming weeks and months. Carlson was the principal figure in the sordid tale surrounding the alleged harassing behaviors of ex-Fox News chief Roger Ailes against multiple employees over a lengthy period. The above-cited blog post supplies material details relevant to that matter. Ailes subsequently lost his job, with Carlson receiving a $20 million settlement from Fox.

That outcome has hardly silenced her. In fact, and as noted in recent media accounts, Carlson has stepped forth in a major way as a high-profile spokesperson adamant about chronicling workplace wrongs committed against women. One such wrong, she says, is the widespread practice of compelling employees to sign arbitration agreements to adjudicate matters such as sexual harassment claims.

Carlson notes the secret nature surrounding arbitration, especially as contrasted with the more public nature of a litigated dispute in a courtroom with a jury panel considering evidence and dispositively weighing in with an outcome. She calls mandatory arbitration “a huge problem.”

Every aspect of workplace sexual harassment — as well as harassment in schools, medical facilities and all other venues — is of course a huge problem, which can lead to many questions and concerns.

Any individual desiring to discuss a sexual harassment-related matter might reasonably want to contact a proven law firm with a deep well of experience advocating on behalf of harassment victims.

Timely and aggressive legal action aimed at such behavior can help to deter and punish wrongful conduct, as well as provide meaningful remedies to those who have suffered from it.