The way the federal court system addresses sexual harassment complaints should be clearer and fairer moving forward now that the federal judiciary has made clarifying amendments to its workplace conduct rules.
With the rise of the #MeToo movement, organizations of all sizes, including state governments, have been forced to take a long look at themselves. After the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation this year to expand training and write a sexual harassment prevention policy for the legislature for the first time, the other two branches of state government are taking action.
Employment law and sexual harassment attorneys say the law provides answers for when conduct crosses the line from objectionable to actionable, though sometimes those answers can be hard to prove. That’s why they say it’s important from both an employer and employee perspective to take steps to protect yourself from ending up in a compromising situation.
A new proposed policy is being sent to the Indiana General Assembly House and Senate ethics committees for further review before it lands in both chambers for a full vote. Even so, questions linger over whether the recommendations will change behavior and protect potential victims.
A former Huntington County judge has reached a tentative settlement with his accuser in a sex-based harassment case brought by a county probation officer who alleged the judge engaged in a “campaign of sex-based harassment, discrimination, and retaliation” that “created a hostile and oppressive workplace environment.”
Claims of workers being harassed or denied opportunities because of their race, national origin, gender, age or sexual orientation are continuing despite diversity in the workforce and employers’ heightened need for labor amid low unemployment.
A federal working group has made two dozen recommendations for ways the judiciary can prevent and respond to workplace harassment, issuing a report that marks the end of the first phase of a U.S. Supreme Court-led initiative that began in response to the national #MeToo movement.
More than 50 reports alleging sexual misconduct by Indiana University employees across all campuses were filed from July 2016 to June 2017. The Bloomington campus had 17 reports and the Indiana University-Purdue University campus in Indianapolis had 21.
The national movement to bring awareness to sexual harassment has stirred a conversation about how workplace harassment claims are resolved. Many victims’ rights advocates have spoken out against arbitration procedures mandated through employment contracts, saying the process is designed to silence victims and keep them out of court.
Accusations of sexual harassment and prosecutorial misconduct at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Capital Case Section have ensnared a death penalty case in the Southern District of Indiana against a federal inmate charged with killing his cellmate.
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill has joined with the attorneys general of all 50 states and other U.S. territories in support of federal legislation ending forced arbitration after incidents of workplace sexual harassment.The National Association of Attorneys General sent the letter voicing its support for such legislation to Congressional leaders Monday.