Law360 reported on a July 11 federal court win for Genova Burns, with a judge ruling that a former AT&T store employee cannot reopen a sexual harassment suit against AT&T Mobility Inc., finding that the shift in culture after the Harvey Weinstein scandal does not qualify as new evidence.
In an article entitled, “Fired Worker Can’t Use #MeToo To Revive Harassment Suit,” Law360 said that U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp shot down an attempt to revive the suit by Taylor M. Ballard, who worked at an AT&T store in a New Jersey mall. Ms. Ballard claimed she was forced out of her job after being repeatedly sexually harassed by a manager.
After Judge Shipp granted summary judgment in August 2017 in favor of AT&T, represented by Genova Burns Partner John C. Petrella and Counsel Lawrence Bluestone, Ms. Ballard tried to save the suit, arguing that in the intervening time, the #MeToo movement had shifted “how we view victims of sexual harassment and the companies that employed them.” However, Judge Shipp said that news stories do not have any bearing on his prior decision in favor of AT&T. “Plaintiff’s sweeping assertions about the behavior of corporations before and after allegations of sexual harassment about Harvey Weinstein are not only completely unsupported by any reliable citation, but none of the evidence is relevant to any of the parties here,” he ruled.
Mr. Petrella is Chair of the Employment Law & Litigation Practice and Mr. Bluestone is Counsel in the Complex Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property Law and Procurement Law, Government Contract Compliance & Bid Protest Litigation Practices.
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