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More Than 450 CEOs Sign The ‘CEO Action Initiative’, But What Are The Legal Implications Of The Pledge?

It has been a year since allegations of sexual harassment gripped America and encouraged lawmakers in California and all across the nation to change state laws regarding diversity and inclusion, as well as strengthen anti-harassment protections.

“But many companies in California have decided to go one step further and implemented their internal policies regulating diversity, sexual harassment, and discrimination in the workplace,” says our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney at JML Law.

The CEO Action for Diversity &Inclusion in the works

Some of the largest companies in the United States have changed not only their approach to dealing with and punishing for harassment and discrimination in the workplace but also their approach to hiring and promoting employees.

The CEO Action for Diversity &Inclusion comes as one of the efforts to battle the lack of diversity and prevalence of sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. This initiative, also known as the pledge, has been signed by hundreds of CEOs across the nation and was designed to put an end to biases, stereotypes, unfair treatment, abuse, and gender inequality, all of which have been eating away at workplaces in the U.S. for decades.

How employers are planning to promote diversity and eliminate sexual harassment

While the idea of CEO Action for Diversity &Inclusion is to promote diversity in the workplace, some of America’s biggest companies that signed the pledge are planning to accomplish their goals by:

  • Turning their workplaces into trusting places to promote complex, and oftentimes painful, conversations about diversity and inclusion
  • Expanding training on unconscious bias
  • Striving to improve their practices by implementing accountability systems to track progress

So far, more than 450 CEOs and presidents of companies across 85 industries have signed the pledge and have committed to these measures to promote diversity and inclusion.

Potential legal consequences for failure to commit to the pledge

And while it is undeniable that the initiative has been long overdue and deserves both attention and respect, our experienced sexual harassment attorney in Los Angeles has examined the potential legal implications of the pledge. So what are the implications of the initiative with respect to employment litigation?

All of the employers who signed the initiative commit to “implementing all of the elements within the pledge” (see the elements above). And this legal pledge applies to all employers who signed the pledge. And here’s something that many do not realize about this pledge: the initiative was made public, which means these companies will be held to the commitment, and will certainly face legal consequences for failure to commit.

If any of the companies that signed the pledge fails to commit to any of the elements of the initiative, they will face legal consequences and expose themselves to lawsuits from employees.

However, here’s where it gets tricky. Unfortunately, the elements of the pledge are too broad, which makes it impossible to interpret what specifically the employers are committing themselves to do. Therefore, with the help of a skilled employment law attorney by your side, you, as an employee of any of the companies that signed the pledge, can interpret each of the elements of the pledge in any legal context you want and successfully sue the company.

Are you an employee of one of the companies that signed the initiative? Do not hesitate to consult with our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney at JML Law to find out more about the legal implications of the pledge. Call at 818-610-8800 to get a free consultation.


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