If it surprises you that the #MeToo movement is already a decade old, you probably aren’t alone. The movement — which is designed both to allow victims to show solidarity and to provoke beneficial changes in the workplace — only developed some of its biggest momenta a couple of years ago.
But it’s been a pretty productive couple of years. Here’s a few of the ways that workers everywhere have benefited from the pushback that has — finally — stopped sexual harassment on the job from being normalized:
Nondisclosure agreements are disappearing.
Many victims of workplace sexual violence or harassment had their voices silenced over the years by nondisclosure agreements. The purpose of the agreements, according to the logic of the companies that demanded them, was to protect the reputation of their brands.
In practice, it really protected serial abusers within their ranks. There’s little motive for companies to oust the most powerful abusers if nobody knows what they’re doing.
Now, however, such agreements in employment contracts and lawsuits involving all manner of sexual harassment or abuse have been officially banned in California and other states. The federal BE HEARD Act has also made progress in that area. Many companies are voluntarily shifting away from nondisclosure agreements because the optics are bad.
On top of those changes, there’s also been a massive shift in the way that people think about sexual harassment. Once quietly tolerated in many ways, there’s been a dramatic change in the internal culture of a number of companies and industries that is designed to weed out the abusers in their ranks.
If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment or sexual violence while working, you may be due compensation for your suffering and any financial losses you’ve had. Learn more about your legal options today.