#MeToo: New Rules, New Culture, New Awareness? Harassment and Due Process
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The laws relating to sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as other forms of harassment (race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, etc.), have been around, and have evolved since 1986. Criminal laws against assault have been around far longer. Both bodies of law involve procedures to determine, and make judgments about, behavior between individuals.
The “workplace” is characterized by an employment relationship. Criminal laws apply across civil society. Punishments can be rendered by someone, a manager, a judge, a jury, in both arenas.
Recent movements like #MeToo and “Time’s Up” have shown a bright light on abuse, harassment and discrimination unlike anything else since 1986. Does this light illuminate limitations how justice is secured; does it impact the traditional laws that apply to employment discrimination and harassment and criminal responsibility? And, where does Due Process fit into this cry for justice, and punishment. Who decides?
To answer these questions, we need to understand the scope of those laws, as well as their constraints.