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2019 Employment Law Highlights

In October 2019, the EEOC reported its fiscal year 2018 statistics showing that sexual harassment charge filings increased by 13.6% over the previous year, and the EEOC recovered nearly $70 million for the victims of sexual harassment through administrative enforcement and litigation, up from $47.5 million in 2017. Clearly, the reverberations from the #MeToo movement continued to impact employers in 2019. As EPS moves toward its 25th year on the front lines of these issues, we continue to engage in the public dialogue and our work with our clients to promote respect and prevent harassment.


  • The legal landscape around issues of sexual harassment shifted in 2019 and we examined those shifts in #MeToo, TimesUp, and the Changing Legal Landscape. Sheila McAndrew wrote about the movement of many states seeking to go beyond federal law in requiring sexual harassment training and the pursuit of limits on nondisclosure agreements. Denise Kay further explored the ways in which organizations are reconsidering traditional conflict resolution methods in her exploration of Dispute Resolutions to Promote Healthy Organizational Culture.
  • Much work remains to be done around issues of sexual harassment and gender. Online polls conducted in early 2019 by and Survey Monkey confirmed that upwards of 60% of male managers are reportedly uncomfortable engaging in everyday job-related activities with women, such as mentoring, working together, or socializing. While this indicator had been confirmed anecdotally in our training courses and in investigations of workplace complaints, we looked closely at the issue in #MeToo and the Pence Rule: A Roadmap for Business Leaders and HR and encouraged employers to examine their organizations and eliminate toxic cultures where sexual and other forms of harassment can flourish.
  • Leading and managing employees across multiple generations is, and will become, increasingly challenging. Rhonda Moll looked at the realities of five generations in the workplace, we explored the persistent and pernicious aspects of ageism in the workplace, and Ginger McRae delved into a fascinating case concerning two Supreme Court law clerks and a situation in which a parental leave policy might just be too generous.
  • The current confusion around federal protections for LGBT individuals did not escape our notice. Jill Rorschach made sense of where things stand and looked ahead to the cases that are now before the Supreme Court that may provide clarity on the court’s interpretation of “on the basis of sex.”
  • Inclusion may be the issue of the moment in organizations and our culture at large. We embraced and explored the movement in our “From Diversity to Inclusion: Breaking Down Barriers on the Path to [Un]Common Ground” workshops that we conducted across the U.S. this past year. Our efforts will continue in 2020 with additional workshops in Chicago, New York, Dallas, and other locations. Our podcast on the subject pulls together our workshop leaders’ insights and reflections from the conversations they had with participants in their deeply interesting exchanges. Rachelle Weathersby’s article on bro culture further examines this particular type of toxicity found all too often within organizations.
To read additional publications from our consultants, all employment law attorneys, our full white paper archive is available here and our complete podcast feed is here. You can meet the entire EPS team here and learn more about our services here. If you have issues that you’d like to see addressed in a white paper or podcast in 2020, we would love to hear from you. Please email your ideas and feedback to