10 September 2019
Every year hundreds of workers who file sex-discrimination grievances in UK courts settle their cases in return for money—and silence. Now, you can see who’s been sued, and how many of those suits vanished before any alleged bad behavior could be publicly exposed in court.
A relatively new and little-known public database analyzed by Bloomberg shows that 2,195 sex-discrimination suits were dropped before court rulings in the past 2.5 years, out of 3,585 suits in total. Huge numbers of people face harassment and discrimination but decide “there’s nothing they can do,” said Lizzie Barmes, Professor of Labor Law at Queen Mary University of London. There’s increasing evidence to suggest “confidentiality clauses are ubiquitous in settlement agreements,” outside certain areas such as the Civil Service, which has introduced reforms to limit their use, said Professor Barmes.