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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

The year was 2006 when Tarana Burke first used the phrase “Me Too”, which allowed women survivors to speak out against sexual abuse and sexual violence. Burke, a survivor, herself, wanted to come up with a way to help women and girls who have also been victims of sexual abuse and sexual violence.

Fast forward to 2017 where the #MeToo Movement has become one of the most pivotal moments for women in recent history. Back in October, actress Ashley Judd came forward to speak out against Harvey Weinstein, the movie mogul, who she says sexually harassed her in his hotel room. Once this accusation came out, it was an instant domino effect. Woman after woman after a woman began to follow in Judd’s footsteps and blast, not only, Weinstein for his illicit ways and behaviors but many other famous white men for their illicit ways as well causing them to either resign or be terminated from their jobs. Because of this movement, there have been many protests and rallies that have taken place all over the country and it was also awarded Time Inc’s 2017 Person of the Year, but what is happening now?

It seems like the #MeToo movement has yet to die but it recently took a serious blow thanks to the Supreme Court. In a 5-4 ruling, written by Trump’s newly appointed justice, Neil Gorsuch the Supreme Court voted that workplaces can force their employees into arbitration, which means that if an employee is experiencing poor work conditions such as sexual harassment, pay inequity, etc., then the employer can prevent them from going to court to file a class action suit against the company. This is such a major setback to all women but especially to women of color and those who fall into the low-income bracket, who are also the ones who are targeted the most.  

Here's how an employee can be forced into arbitration without even knowing it. Once you are hired to work for a company, you are given some documents to sign. As most of us do, instead of reading the company’s policies, many would just skim through and then sign without noticing that the arbitration rule is the clause. So, if there is ever a circumstance where a woman is sexually harassed at work and tries to take the company to court, they can't because they signed that policy paper.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave the dissenting opinion to this ruling, stating that it was “egregiously wrong” and that  “underenforcement of federal and state statutes designed to advance the well-being of vulnerable workers.”

Although this is a ruling comes as a devastating blow to almost every woman who has ever experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, there’s still hope for this ruling to be overturned. Justice Ginsburg also called for Congress to step in and take action.

Hopefully, they will stand with the #MeToo Movement instead of against it. We stand with those ladies a part of the #MeToo movement and will continue to do so, no matter the outcome.