How Investment Managers Can Prevent and Manage Claims of Harassment in the Age of #MeToo

In the nine weeks since the October 5, 2017, exposé in The New York Times regarding Harvey Weinstein and his reported settlements with various women, allegations of harassment have spread like wildfire throughout the country. From Hollywood to Capitol Hill, corporate America, investment managers and beyond, hardly a day goes by without new allegations emerging against additional male power figures. For the individuals and entities accused, the significant legal and financial risks are only part of the exposure; harassment allegations can ruin reputations and damage businesses long before claims ever get to a judge, jury or arbitrator. Now is the time for investment managers to act. In a guest article, Akin Gump partners Richard J. Rabin and Esther G. Lander, along with senior practice attorney Kelly L. Brown, outline the steps that investment managers should take to ensure compliance with applicable law and prevent future claims of harassment, including reviewing their equal employment opportunity policies, practices and training, and assessing and addressing any shortcomings in their office environments. For additional insight from Rabin on employment law issues, see “Four Steps NYC-Based Fund Managers Should Take in Light of Newly Enacted Law Prohibiting Compensation History Queries When Interviewing Prospective Employees” (May 11, 2017); “Best Practices for Fund Managers to Mitigate Litigation and Regulatory Risk Before Terminating Employees” (Feb. 9, 2017); and “Steps Hedge Fund Managers Can Take in Light of NY Attorney General’s View That Certain Non-Compete Clauses Are Unconscionable” (Sep. 22, 2016).

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