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Wall Street’s #MeToo movement victims get a second chance for justice
Sexual harassment and assault are rampant for female workers on Wall Street because of the nature of the work: the long hours, the travel, the pyramid-like structure, where there are plenty of junior women, but disproportionately fewer and fewer as you get toward the top.
Many believe that finance has had just as many cases of sexual abuse and assault as other industries–as finance is a male-dominated industry and the few women who manage to enter it and climb its ranks, often become the targets of the men who work there.
There are still so few women on Wall Street that they effectively have no public voice, but the broader #MeToo moment is strengthening an “underground” movement, or whisper network, in which women who work on Wall Street want to help one another.
One group of power players has been largely absent from the list of men that have been accused of so-called sexual misconduct — behavior that ranges from harassing female coworkers and subordinates to rape: CEOs of big companies, particularly major, publicly-traded corporations.
Some of the largest judgments in the Wall Street’s #MeToo Moment of the 1990s and 2000s against well-known, publicly-traded corporations include:
- $54 million against Morgan Stanley;
- $150 million against Smith Barney; and,
- $250 million against Merrill Lynch.
At firm after firm, women were met with a corporate culture that tolerated cruel or brutal harassment, offering protection to abusive rainmakers.
Some of the most serious accusations from female executives include:
Alleged pay, promotion, and pregnancy discrimination;
- Hostile work environments;
- Rampant sexual harassment;
- And even rape.
Wall Street has had plenty of time to make gender discrimination complaints disappear into an opaque arbitration system where the names of violators rarely appear and legal precedent isn’t strictly binding–where victims were long ago ordered into private arbitration or gagged by nondisclosure agreements.
How the Adult Survivor Act is giving those women a second chance at justice
Adult sexual abuse survivors will now have the legal power to sue their assailants for decades-old attacks under bipartisan legislation signed into law.
The State Assembly overwhelmingly passed the Adult Survivors Act–this bill enables adult victims that were 18 or older at the time of the alleged abuse a one-time opportunity to file civil lawsuits in New York–even if any statutes of limitations have run out.
The bill gives adult survivors a one-year window to file suit, similar to the New York’s Child Victims Act.
The purposes behind the creation of the Adult Survivor’s Act include:
- The measure is described as an act of “restorative justice;”
- It allows victims some level of accountability and recompense; and,
- It deters individuals and institutions from turning a blind eye to the future.
Gov. Kathy Hochul explains, “To those who thought they got away with a perfect crime, I say to you: Your time is up. Your victims will see you in court.”
In 2019, state lawmakers lengthened the statutes of limitations for many offenses–however, those changes did not apply retroactively, which made the Adult Survivors Act bill necessary.
The Shield Justice Online team is encouraging adult female survivors of sexual assault who were employed on Wall Street–especially in the 1980s and 1990s–to come forward and request a free, private case evaluation for justice and compensation!
Our network of attorneys have a track record of success.
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