The Nation

How to End the Silence Around Sexual-Harassment Settlements

When the news of Harvey Weinstein’s serial sexual predation broke in early October, part of what was so shocking was that many of the women harassed by Weinstein had privately come forward with their claims, only to be paid off by his company in exchange for their silence. To address the harms that confidentiality requirements impose, lawmakers in a handful of states have floated bills to bar nondisclosure provisions in employment contracts and in settlements relating to claims of discrimination, retaliation, and harassment. But some advocates warn that barring confidentiality provisions may hurt victims in the process.
Bloomberg Law

#MeToo Movement Brings Busy Times for Labor Lawyers

What began in October with reports about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged serial sexual predation has sparked a viral engagement with the #metoo social media movement, a national conversation about sexual misconduct, and a wave of high-profile workplace sexual harassment allegations in entertainment, media and politics that shows no sign of letting up. On Monday, Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski announced via his lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart that he will retire immediately following allegations of sexual misconduct from more than a dozen women. The cultural phenomenon has created work for lawyers, from creating new internal policies at corporations, to advising them on upcoming legislation that could fundamentally change how sexual harassment allegations are settled.
Bloomberg Law

Big Law Firms Show Sharp Divide Between Attorney and Staff Parental Leave

Many Big Law firms promote generous paid parental leave policies in order to woo young lawyers hoping to start a family, but those benefits often don’t apply at the same levels to staff providing support work, an analysis by Big Law Business has found. The numbers show that law firm staff do better than their counterparts in similarly paid jobs, but that law firm paid leave policies still lag behind some of the biggest U.S. companies.
Bloomberg Law

Why Women Leave Big Law To Start Their Own Firms

Peggy McCausland was tired of her firm’s networking events.The potential clientele she wanted to woo — business women — weren’t showing up, she said. So McCausland conceived her own networking event that would draw them — golf lessons, catered meals and shop talk — and asked for the necessary marketing funds. She was a partner at the firm, Blank Rome, after all. “The response I got from [a senior partner] was, ‘Where are you going to find a golf course that’s gonna let a bunch of amateur women come hack it to bits?’” McCausland recalled ten years later.
Blooomberg Law

Today’s Law Degree Takes on a Broader Meaning

It can be awkward for law school deans to talk about: As the number of law graduates continues to decline nationwide, more are getting jobs that don’t require a law degree. That’s not such a good look for law schools, where many students attend with high hopes of earning a place at a prestigious law firm, or, at the very least, practicing law after they graduate. Now, some deans are trying to embrace the change rather than fight it, launching training programs for students in areas outside of law — like technology — and speaking publicly about alternative career paths.
The Nation

The Aggressive Anti-Union Campaign at StoryCorps

Justin Williams has long been working to combine his interests in storytelling with activism for social justice. At the production company Kartemquin Films, for example, he coached emerging filmmakers of color through their first full-length documentaries. So when he was offered the chance to work as a facilitator for StoryCorps, the nonprofit media and cultural-heritage company dedicated to “preserving people’s stories,” Williams jumped at it. He was drawn to StoryCorps because of its simplicity (stories are recorded as 40-minute conversations between two people who know each other), its wide audience (stories are regularly broadcast via NPR), and its commitment to the representation of marginalized populations who would not otherwise have access to public media. And yet, when a group of employees told management of their intention to unionize in late May, the organization declined to voluntarily recognize the union.
Columbia Journalism Review

I learned the hard way why non-competes are bad for journalists

There’s a silent scourge creeping around newsrooms, one with origins in trade publications and tech-led new media: non-compete agreements. In their most typical form, these agreements bar reporters and editorial staff members from working at competing publications for a period of six months to a year after they leave. Publications that use them argue they need non-competes to cover the cost of the training they provide employees. Some even argue their reporters are privy to trade secrets.
Bloomberg Law

Chadbourne Defense Illustrates Difficulties In Gender Bias Suits

As Chadbourne & Parke fights a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by three women in Manhattan federal court, part of its defense strategy is taking shape and shining a light on the challenges the plaintiffs face. Current case law does not easily allow for claims of structural discrimination, in which the structure and dynamics of a workplace work to exclude non-dominant groups, according to Columbia Law professor Suzanne Goldberg.
Public Radio International

Making art helps this refugee create her new life in Austria

Restart is a Berlin-based social enterprise looking to give refugees a creative outlet, connections to fellow artists and access to an online art marketplace in their new European homes. Modeled after ArtLifting, a Boston-based benefit corporation that sells and licenses the work of homeless artists, Restart hopes to be a resource for creative refugees trying to remake their lives and careers in Europe.

This 'Sims'-Like Software Models Real Workplaces With More Women

When Paolo Gaudiano's daughter, who's now 26, was in junior high school, she was "incredibly bright" in math and physics. But her father noticed she seemed to shy away from technical fields, instead favoring the liberal arts, because she "didn't see herself fitting in." "She would look around and see the role models were not there," he told Motherboard during a recent interview at his Manhattan co-working space. Gaudiano, CTO of the predictive analytics firm Icosystem, has spent decades developing software to simulate and test the everyday operations of organizations like the US Navy, the French shipping company La Poste, and the insurance company Humana. His daughter's experience got him thinking about a new aspect of a company's operations: gender balance.

The real reason weddings cost so much

The story of wedding pricing is more nuanced than it appears. As David Perez’s example shows, there is a certain level of skill and effort that isn’t required for other occasions. If an ordinary customer was being difficult or emotional, he might ask her to leave his salon. But on someone’s wedding day, he had to be kind, polite, patient—and still get the job done, on time, with no room for error. In academic circles, this kind of work is known as “emotional labor.”