Posted by David Oates 2 months, 3 weeks ago

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You may recall that I predicted 2018 as the year Fortune 500 CEOs would start paying for sexual harassment transgressions of the past as part of the evolving #MeToo movement. After making its way through the celebrity industry, I felt the time was right to hit Corporate America.

So much for predictions. With few exceptions, the momentum stopped well before it hit Wall Street, let alone Main Street. 

Does that mean the #MeToo movement won’t ever return? Not necessarily. The issue really comes down to economics. Right now, jobs are plentiful with demand outpacing supply. I suspect that most employees simply quit their toxic and demeaning work environment for greener pastures. For CEOs to start feeling the heat, victims will need to fund the civil lawsuits that bring to light the transgressions. Well, lawsuits don’t come cheap, and often come about when the prospects for other work appear dim.

In other words, The #MeToo movement may hit the business world when the recession hits. When jobs become more scarce, folks will feel that fewer options exist just to cut and run. While I won’t predict when the next economic slowdown will occur, I’m now revising my previous prediction to say the #MeToo movement will hit multinational CEOs when unemployment rises, corporate earnings shrink or erase altogether. 

When that happens, look out. It’s going to be painful.

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