HOW CAN EMPLOYERS RESPOND TO INCREASED RISKS OF WELL-FUNDED HARASSMENT LITIGATION STEMMING FROM THE #METOO MOVEMENT?
Since early October 2017, when the allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein first surfaced in The New York Times and The New Yorker, there has been a steady stream of allegations of sexual harassment against high-profile individuals in the media, entertainment and political spheres. Now, a San Francisco Bay Area startup backed by Silicon Valley investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is looking to take advantage of the potential avalanche of new sexual harassment lawsuits that could be on the way. If this is a sign of things to come, employers need to take note.
On 8 November 2017, litigation finance firm Legalist, Inc. launched a new initiative dubbed #MeToo Tales (M2T). According to its website, M2T is “a collaboration between Legalist and community organisers working to help victims of sexual harassment get justice”. M2T invites individuals who believe they have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace to share their stories confidentially on the initiative’s website or via its toll-free hotline. Legalist offers to pair respondents with Legalist’s partner plaintiff law firms and, for “eligible” individuals, to provide “angel” litigation funding of up to $100,000. Legalist recoups its investment by sharing in a portion of the proceeds from successful litigation or settlement.
Jan-Mar 2018 Issue
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP