The #MeToo movement was mostly about solidarity. Victims of sexual harassment or sexual violence were speaking out and finding strength in others who had experienced the same thing. More than that, the movement gave victims who had long been silent a voice that they hadn’t had before.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, a number of high-profile industry leaders, some in the top echelons of their chosen professions, were exposed as sexual predators and many were removed from their positions or forced to pay their victims in lawsuits (or both). However, the lasting impact of the #MeToo movement on the business world goes much further.
Nondisclosure agreements are changing
Revelations that many victims had been pressured or outright coerced into signing nondisclosure agreements that applied to sexual harassment forced many companies to reexamine their policies. Some voluntarily voided their existing agreements with employees and stopped using them. In other cases, the states got involved. California, New York and New Jersey, for example, now ban nondisclosure agreements that silence a victim of sexual discrimination, harassment or assault.
Contract workers are gaining protections
California is also at the forefront of changes to the “gig” industry where sexual harassment is concerned. Under federal laws and in most states, independent contractors are not afforded the same legal protections against sexual harassment on the job as regular employees. California expanded its state laws to protect many different types of people who are in contract positions with their abusers.
Some victims are seeing financial relief
Another piece of progress has been made when it comes to providing victims with some form of restitution. Victims of sexual abuse and harassment all over the country have successfully sued both their individual harassers and the companies that allowed them to prosper in positions of power despite knowledge of their misdeeds.
Even though the #MeToo movement is a decade old now, the work is hardly over. If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment or abuse on the job, you have every right to seek compensation for your suffering and financial losses.