National Association of Women Judges Launched “#WeToo in the Legal Workplace” Initiative at Legislative Caucus on Capitol Hill

Left to right: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Michigan 12th CD, National Association of Women Judges President Honorable Tanya R. Kennedy and Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Florida 21st CD

At its 13th annual meeting, National Association of Women Judges President Honorable Tanya R. Kennedy, New York State Supreme Court, and Congressional Women’s Caucus Co-Chairs, Congresswomen Susan Brooks and Lois Frankel, hosted an audience of 50 persons, including congresswomen, judges, attorneys and staffers in a meeting to ensure that women can thrive in healthy work environments, free of sexual harassment and intimidation. This collaborative effort served as a catalyst for the #WeToo in the Legal Workplace initiative.

“We have tried to find issues where we can work together, and one of those issues is sexual harassment,” said Congresswoman Lois Frankel.

The meeting was highlighted by a panel session moderated by Nicole Austin-Hillery, Esq., Executive Director of the Human Rights Watch’s U.S. Program and featured Commissioner Chai R. Feldblum of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); Susan E. Huhta, Esq. of Outten & Golden LLP; Sadina Montani, Esq. of Vedder Price; and David J. Sachar, J.D. of the Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission.

A 2016 EEOC Study stated that “approximately one in four women (25%) reported experiencing “sexual harassment” in the workplace.” Congresswoman Susan Brooks added, “We have to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace, and out of the workplace.”

The #WeToo in the Legal Workplace movement and this meeting (co-sponsored by the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia and the law firms of McGuireWoods and Morgan Lewis) will be the impetus for the creation of educational sessions, workshops, training programs, marketing and social media campaigns and defense funds to combat sexual harassment across the legal workplace. National Association of Women Judges President Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy stated that “NAWJ is extremely grateful to be the recipient of a $29,000 grant from the State Justice Institute, which will assist us in our efforts to create and implement educational and training programs and, therefore, empower women to thrive in healthy work environments, free from sexual harassment and discrimination.”

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