#TimesUp On Individual Litigation Reform: Combatting Sexual Harassment Through Employee-Driven Action and Private Regulation

By Natalie Dugan

In 2017, the New York Times published a story that exposed severe sexual misconduct on the part of Harvey Weinstein, an American film producer. The revelation of Weinstein’s conduct proved to be a watershed moment for the public’s comprehension of sexual harassment and violence in the workplace. Movements like the #MeToo and TimesUp initiatives quickly gained substantial momentum, reflecting a newfound and widespread commitment to combatting this form of misconduct.

This Note, however, aims to illuminate the barriers to progress those movements, and others, will face in their attempts to eradicate sexual harassment and violence in the broader workplace context, beyond the scope of Hollywood. The narrow focus on overt sexual misconduct, along with a general failure to circumvent the pre-existing shortcomings of the U.S. court system in addition to the various disadvantages of pursuing individual litigation, have the potential to prevent such movements from achieving lasting change. As such, this Note offers an alternative framework for combatting sexual misconduct in the workplace, through the implementation of employee-driven groups modeled after The Fair Food Program. Moreover, this Note offers possible means through which government intervention might facilitate cooperation between corporations and said employee-driven groups.

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