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News and Announcements

At Law Firms, Rainmakers Accused of Harassment Can Switch Jobs With Ease

Jul 30, 2018 / News Item
Opaque hiring practices in legal industry often make prior sexual-harassment complaints easy to leave behind The flowers arrived at Mayer Brown days after a prized new hire started at the law firm’s New York office. “Thanks for taking him,” the note on the bouquet read. It was signed: “The women.” Mayer Brown partners had begun getting calls earlier that February day about James Tanenbaum, a veteran capital-markets attorney, a person familiar with the matter said. They learned he left his previous firm, Morrison & Foerster, in December after sexual-harassment allegations. Mr. Tanenbaum,...
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What Reporting Sexual Harassment Taught Me

Jul 9, 2018 / News Item
When you report an incident, you’re apparently also supposed to know how it should be prosecuted. When someone broke into my home and stole my bike, I called the police, had a five-minute conversation with them to report the details, and barely ever gave it another thought. I didn’t organize my memories into “pre–bike theft” and “post–bike theft.” It wasn’t that notable of an event in my life. And the same is true for the time a professor grabbed my ass at a conference when I was a graduate student. It wasn’t a self-defining event in my life. Does that mean it wasn’t harmful? When someone...
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Pursuing sexual harassers is the next ordeal, despite #MeToo

Mar 9, 2018 / Media Coverage
When Zelda Perkins signed a non-disclosure agreement with Miramax in 1998, she was sworn to secrecy about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged harassment of herself and a colleague. For 20 years Perkins stuck by the undertaking, which banned any publicizing of Weinstein’s unwanted advances. But at the end of 2017, she publicly broke that contract, jeopardizing her future and her bank account. As the dust of #MeToo settles, society everywhere is being forced to confront a problem that appears to be universal. Since the unmasking of Hollywood producer Weinstein in late 2017, it has become clear that...
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The Tipped Minimum Wage Is Fueling Sexual Harassment in Restaurants

Feb 13, 2018 / Media Coverage
“When you reduce the power imbalance by giving women … the full minimum wage … a woman has greater power, greater agency, and doesn’t have to put up with everything.” Jenna Watanabe earned $2.13 an hour when she worked as a restaurant server in Utah. That’s perfectly legal because she made tips—and federal law says tipped workers can be paid a lower wage so long as their tips add up to the minimum wage for everyone else, or $7.25 an hour. But that meant Watanabe relied heavily on those tips to make a living. “My income was totally reliant on the approval of strangers,” she said Tuesday during...
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How the Finance Industry Is Trying to Cash In on #MeToo

Jan 28, 2018 / Media Coverage
Accusations of sexual harassment have felled dozens of executives, but in one quiet corner of the financial world, the #MeToo movement looks like a golden opportunity. Companies that offer money to plaintiffs in anticipation of future legal settlements are racing to capitalize on sexual harassment lawsuits. That is setting off alarms in some quarters because the industry, like payday lenders, has a history of providing cash at exorbitant interest rates to customers who need the money for living and sometimes medical expenses. The largely unregulated companies have operated with less public...
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When #MeToo Becomes Catch-22

Jan 24, 2018 / Media Coverage
A number of high-profile men have recently lost powerful positions over their alleged sexual misconduct. But for female victims of harassment, speaking up often is just as career damaging. Managerial women who report such abuse can struggle to regain their professional momentum. To escape toxic work environments, they frequently quit or exit entire industries, and some choose different professions, according to interviews with lawyers and women who have experienced sexual harassment at work. When women resign due to sexual harassment, their earnings tend to stall or decline, an academic study...
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Microsoft Moves to End Secrecy in Sexual Harassment Claims

Dec 19, 2017 / Media Coverage
The wave of sexual harassment claims has toppled powerful men in entertainment, media and politics. Now, it is also creating permanent changes in workplace policy at one giant technology company. Microsoft, one of the world’s biggest software makers, said on Tuesday that it had eliminated forced arbitration agreements with employees who make sexual harassment claims and was also supporting a proposed federal law that would widely ban such agreements. The moves make Microsoft an early company — and certainly the most prominent — to take such steps to end legal agreements that have been...
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He Made Us All Victims and Accomplices

Dec 14, 2017 / Media Coverage
For 20 years, I’ve felt it was too early to speak up about Judge Alex Kozinski. Now I fear it’s too late. The first time I met Alex Kozinski was in 1996. I was clerking for the chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and there was an orientation for new clerks in San Francisco. One of my co-clerks and I were introduced to the already legendary, lifetime-tenured young judge at a reception, and we talked for a while. I cannot recall what we talked about. I remember only feeling quite small and very dirty. Without my prompting, my former co-clerk described this interaction in an...
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