Scores of women employed at Goldman Sachs more than a decade ago unsealed fresh accusations of how they were subjected for years to discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault by male managers at the Wall Street giant.
Over 17 long years — starting long before the #MeToo movement galvanized the nation — one of the most powerful banks in the country has been able to keep the lid on many embarrassing details of a high-profile gender discrimination case. A day of reckoning could be on the horizon, though, with a recent agreement between Goldman Sachs and a group of women suing the firm in that case to unseal their allegations of harassment and discrimination.
How far does the Federal Arbitration Act's policy favoring arbitration go? Given the recent personnel changes on our highest court, the newest U.S. Supreme Court decisions on arbitration of employment disputes, Southwest Airlines Co. v. Saxon and Morgan v. Sundance Inc., shed light on the future of employment arbitration.
This situation highlights the urgency of building federal infrastructure to support working parents, but the outlook is "bleak," said Menaka Fernando, a partner with worker-side firm Outten & Golden LLP.
"There's going to be a significant number of these individuals in these states that will be forced to have children and carry their pregnancy to term. … These are the same states that are woefully lacking in protections for working mothers," Fernando said. "I think that working mothers are all but guaranteed to not have the support that they need by their employers, particularly when they're forced into this situation."
A U.S. Supreme Court case claiming asbestos caused a railroad employee's cancer might not seem crucial for wage and hour attorneys to follow, but its potential to shape where plaintiffs can sue makes it one to watch, observers told Law360.
"This case is potentially going to impact how wage and hour cases are litigated," said Christopher McNerney, an Outten & Golden LLP partner who represents workers.
The litigation push by military reservists seeking expanded paid leave benefits from their employers caught the attention of the Labor Department, which said it’s considering filing a brief in a Ninth Circuit appeal against Alaska Airlines Inc. and Horizon Air.
"Understanding those biases, the stereotypes that have always existed; training on how they manifest themselves in the new remote working situation; and then [using] systems of evaluation and compensation decisions that are structured to avoid those biases" are ways to avoid discrimination, said Cara Greene, a partner at Outten & Golden LLP.