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Emory L. J. Online


The #MeToo movement has drawn unprecedented attention to sexual harassment in the workplace. But there is a disconnect between sexual harassment as popularly understood and sexual harassment as prohibited by Title VII. This Essay identifies those areas where the law and the public understanding of it most starkly diverge. Additionally, as this Essay describes, those who are retaliated against for making claims of sexual harassment often fare poorly after stepping forward; many complaints concern conduct that has not yet reached the requisite level of severity or pervasiveness, and thus are found unprotected. This Essay identifies where the #MeToo movement, to the extent it reflects societal understanding of what the law should be, may impact judges' and juries' application of governing legal standards. The law often evolves in response to changing social norms, and the #MeToo movement, in ways this Essay describes, has the opportunity to effect this evolution in the law's approach to on-the-job sexual harassment.

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