New York, NY (Law Firm Newswire) June 19, 2018 – From Harvey Weinstein to Fox News, a new strategy is emerging on how companies attempt to address sexual harassment claims in the #metoo era.
Faced with sexual harassment complaints, companies are retaining outside sexual harassment attorneys for the sole purpose of investigating the claims and then drafting a report. These are, importantly, NOT the same attorneys who are defending the companies against the claims.
Companies are following this strategy for a few reasons. Under federal and many states’ laws, a company has an affirmative obligation to investigate these claims. If a company fails to investigate and is sued again, their liability exposure significantly increases.
Also, by using a different set of attorneys, the company is preserving the opportunity to make those attorneys witnesses and their report evidence in any subsequent case. That is not an available strategy if the attorneys representing them in the case also prepared the lawsuit.
Next, using a different law firm gives the appearance of objectivity. The attorneys will often tell employees that they are there only to learn the facts; they are not interested in reaching a certain outcome.
Finally, companies are using this strategy to show their employees how seriously they take the allegations. This is sometimes just window dressing and nothing comes from the report. But good corporate citizens do exist who change their culture and policies based on these reports.
For more information about Douglas Lipsky and Lipsky Lowe LLP, please visit their website: https://lipskylowe.com/services/sexual-harassment/