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November 26, 2018 Asked and Answered

Good Conduct: Confronting confusion in the wake of #MeToo

By Stephanie Francis Ward

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, many have said that they no longer know how to behave in a work environment–but employment law expert Gerald Pauling doesn’t buy that.

The Seyfarth Shaw partner tells the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward that in his experience providing training to supervisors, managers and rank-and-file workers, “I almost never encounter situations where trainees or participants in training are unable to identify the lines between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Literally almost never.”

So what should law firms and lawyers be keeping in mind in an era of greater accountability? In this episode of the ABA Journal’s Asked and Answered podcast, Pauling discusses the importance of context and non-verbal cues, and how firms can protect themselves from liability and their employees from experiencing harassment.

“In the lawsuit, your intent doesn’t matter,” Pauling tells Ward. “In the lawsuit, your conduct matters, and how it was received and perceived matters, not what you intended.”

Listen to the Podcast

In This Podcast:

Stephanie Francis Ward
Gerald L. Pauling II is a partner with Seyfarth Shaw whose practice focuses on employment litigation and labor and employee relations. Pauling co-chairs the firm’s National Diversity Action Team and is past chair of the Chicago office labor & employment practice group, the Chicago office hiring committee and the Chicago office lawyer development committee. Prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw, Pauling served as a clerk at the City of Chicago Law Department and an extern with Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles.

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