CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Oct. 5, 2018 – Laura Noble, partner of The Noble Law Firm, was featured in USA Today’s article, “#MeToo one year later: Cosby, Moonves fall, sex harassment fight at work far from over.” As the first wave of cases filed in the #MeToo era reach their days in court, the article addresses the impact of the movement on society’s perception of sexual harassment in the workplace.
“I think the next 12, 18 months, when these verdicts come back… we’ll have a better sense of where the public really is, on whether there has been a social shift and mindset in how we deal with sexual harassment victims,” Noble noted.
In the final three months of 2017, The Noble Law Firm saw a 500% increase in calls about sexual harassment. While the movement has raised significant awareness of an issue often swept under the rug, Noble commented that #MeToo has not necessarily resulted in an easier path for women to get legal help.
In the year since the onset of the #MeToo movement, laws have been passed in states like California and New York to mandate training and build awareness. Businesses have been quicker to address the issue and make changes, with companies like Microsoft and Facebook altering their corporate sexual harassment policies.
While the #MeToo movement has dominated the media for the past year, outdated laws and lack of legal protections have made it difficult for the movement to gain traction in the courtroom. While many people expected a more prompt response from state and federal lawmakers, only a handful of states have made strides toward positive change.
Noble, along with partner Katie Abernethy, have responded to this movement by conducting a 50 state review of sexual harassment laws including federal law Title VII. The assessment provides an overview of the legal protections for sexual harassment in the workplace and identifies gaps in the laws leaving more than 8 million people unprotected. This 50 state report will include recommendations for improving sexual harassment protections for employees at the state and federal levels. The firm will release the report in the next two weeks.
Read the full article from USA Today here.