300 prominent actresses, female agents, writers, directors, producers, and entertainment executives have joined forces to fight systemic sexual harassment in Hollywood and beyond in blue-collar workplaces across the nation. The new initiative, called Time’s Up, includes funding for legal representation which will be coordinated and administered by the National Women’s Law Center’s Legal Network for Gender Equity. Lawyers interested in joining the NWLC’s Gender Equity effort can sign up here. Lieff Cabraser attorneys Kelly Dermody, Rachel Geman, Anne Shaver, Michelle Lamy, and Tiseme Zegeye have all joined the project in a concerted effort to combat sexual harassment, discrimination, and abuse in the workplace.
Time’s Up was announced on January 1st, 2018 with a pledge of support to working-class women nationwide via an open letter signed by hundreds of women, including a number of high-profile Hollywood A-listers. The Time’s Up creators and sponsors include lawyers Nina L. Shaw and Tina Tchen, actresses America Ferrera, Eva Longoria, and Reese Witherspoon, and producer Shonda Rhimes. The project is seeking an initial outside funding goal of $15 million. As of January 3rd, donations had surpassed $14 million. Donations can be made here.
“The struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard and acknowledged in male-dominated workplaces must end; time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly,” the letter says.
The initiative begins with the legal defense fund, intended to aid less-privileged women in protecting themselves from sexual misconduct; proposals of legislation to penalize companies that allow persistent harassment and discourage the use of nondisclosure agreements for silencing victims; a drive to reach gender parity at studios and talent agencies; and a request for women walking the Golden Globes’ red carpet to raise awareness and speak out against gender and racial inequality by wearing black.
As noted by the New York Times, “The group is one answer to the question of how women in Hollywood would respond to cascading allegations that have upended the careers of powerful men in an industry where the prevalence of sexual predation has yielding the minimizing cliché of the ‘casting couch,’ and where silence has been a condition of employment.”
Get the full story on the Time’s Up movement at www.timesupnow.com/.
About Lieff Cabraser
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, is a 70-attorney firm with offices in San Francisco, New York, and Nashville. We represent plaintiffs in a wide variety of class action litigation, including gender and employment discrimination and civil rights. Our award-winning lawyers have represented thousands of plaintiffs in litigation against technology companies, including serving as lead class counsel in the Silicon Valley no-poaching case, In re High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation which resulted in settlements totaling $435 million, and in ongoing gender discrimination class actions on behalf of technical professionals at multiple internet giants. The Lieff Cabraser team also serves as co-lead class counsel in pending gender class actions against Goldman Sachs (Chen-Oster v. Goldman Sachs) and KPMG (Kassman v. KPMG).