Gender-based Harassment and Violence

About the Gender-based Harassment and Violence Working Group

Formed in 2017, the Berkeley Center’s Gender-based Harassment and Violence (formerly Sexual Harassment and Violence) Working Group has held annual international conferences (2018-2020) on sexual harassment law, written a book on The Global #MeToo Movement, and is now developing toolkits on workplace harassment investigations and other practical materials. The Working Group’s Co-Directors are Ann Noel, former General Counsel for California’s Fair Employment and Housing Commission, and Denise Oldham, former Title IX Officer and Director of the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, UC Berkeley.

Gender-based Harassment and Violence Working Group Projects


Upcoming January 2023 Rethinking Sexual Harassment Practice Conference

January 23-26, 2023

3.5 hours MCLE credit per day, including each day one hour ethics credit

8:30 am – 12:45 pm each day

Registration link coming soon. Email to stay informed. 


Join us for a series of morning virtual webinars covering:

Monday, 1/23: Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice

  • Survivor-centered ways to resolve allegations of harassment short of litigation.  
  • When is it appropriate to utilize restorative justice?
  • Techniques for successful conflict resolution.


Tuesday, 1/24: Workplace Investigations

Three programs:

  • How Attorneys Can Deliver Fair, Ethical and Independent Investigations (One hour presentation, 1.0 ethics credit)
  • High profile investigations and how they compare or differ from a typical investigation – 1.25 hour presentation and roundtable discussion between 3 or 4 panelists.
  • Balancing confidentiality with transparency and due process in investigations. 1.25 hour presentation and roundtable discussion between 3 or 4 panelists.


Wednesday, 1/25: Recent Developments in Title IX Law and Policy

Topics include:

  • A review of the proposed Title IX regulations
  • Protections for LGBTQI+ students
  • Potential conflicts between proposed rules and state laws
  • Pregnancy and parenting developments 


Thursday, 1/26:  Effective Settlements

  • Strategies for drafting an effective settlement
  • Tax consequences
  • Client-centered confidentiality
  • Protecting your client’s reference checks

* Early Bird/Partner Rate

Law firm and investigation firm sponsorships are welcome. They provide visibility for the firms and discounts on the cost of attending. To discuss sponsoring one or more days of the program please contact Ann Noel at


Past CLE Programs


“Caste in the United States: A New Civil Rights Challenge for Academia and the Workplace”

South Asia’s caste system is a socio-political basis for discrimination, with Dalits, persecuted as the “untouchables” of society, facing prejudice in the workplace and academia.  As South Asians have migrated to jobs and academic positions in the United States, caste discrimination has followed. This webinar opened with a presentation about the origins of caste and how it drives discrimination in society.  The webinar then explored protections against caste discrimination in the U.S., both in the academy and the workplace.  We discussed the recent inclusion of caste as a protected status in California State University’s anti-discrimination policies and a landmark lawsuit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing against Cisco Systems alleging discrimination against a Dalit engineer based on his caste status.


The Rule 8.4.1 Program “The Duty of Lawyers to Prevent Harassment: California’s New Regulatory Approach” covered the new California Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4.1, which takes a stricter approach to discipline attorneys for discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in both law practice management and matters of legal representation. The program occurred on Friday, April 22, 2022 from 9am to 11am PST.


Weaponizing Defamation Law to Silence #MeToo Claims: This dynamic and groundbreaking webinar included renowned practitioners who discussed how California, national and international defamation law has been used to intimidate and silence #MeToo claims, as well as presented strategies to defend against defamation claims. The program occurred on Thursday, April 28, 2022 from 9am to 12pm PST. 


The January 2022 New Developments in Workplace Sexual Harassment Program covered a U.S. and global comparative examination of sexual harassment in the workplace, focussing on skills for litigators, investigators and human resource professionals.


The October 2021 Sexual Harassment in Education Program served as an expansion of our Sexual Harassment in Education program. 


The January 2021 Sexual Harassment in Education Program brought together lawyers, scholars, and activists at this virtual conference to examine the law and policy issues governing harassment of students, staff, and faculty at schools, colleges and universities in the U.S. and globally, through a series of plenary sessions, workshops, and keynote addresses, with opportunities to meet and network with others in the field. Plenary topics included new developments in Title IX law and policy, harassment prevention education, and the development of toolkits to address the problem of sexual harassment in education.

Speakers on global responses to harassment included lawyers, policymakers, and activists from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, India, Kenya, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Past #MeToo Conferences

The 2018 conference  included 24 speaker/participants, from Australia, China, France, India, Ireland, Italy, the U.K., the U.N., and the U.S.  These speakers met for two days to exchange ideas with each other, including a public conference where they spoke as panelists to a diverse group of lawyers and human relations specialists. The public conference’s keynote speaker was Catharine MacKinnon, the law professor/activist who coined the term “sexual harassment” and situated it as a breach of discrimination law 


The 2019 conference included 64 speaker/participants, who met for three days of exchanging ideas, including a public conference where they spoke as panelists to a lawyers and human relations specialists. The speakers came from Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, France, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, the U.K., the U.N., and the U.S. The keynote speakers on the public day were Professor Catharine MacKinnon, U.N. Women Director of Policy Purna Sen, and labor activist Saru Jayaraman. (Links are to videos of their presentations.) 


The February 2020 Berkeley conference, Developments in Sexual Harassment Law, updated lawyers and HR specialists on developments in California sexual harassment law, Title IX (academic sexual harassment) law, workplace investigation practice, and the worldwide #MeToo movement.  


The June 2020 “London” conference, Global Resistance to Sexual Harassment and Violence, transitioned from meeting in London to a virtual conference, bringing together over 100 experts, including scholars, legal practitioners, NGO leaders, discrimination law enforcement officials, and industry leaders from around the world.  The conference included seven pre-recorded panel discussions and two days of live meetings, with a combination of plenary panels and workshops.

The conference featured a keynote by Georgetown Law Professor Jamillah Williams who spoke about how the #MeToo movement has not done enough to protect women of color and low wage workers. The Berkeley Center is working on posting the conference workshops online.  


See below to check out our conferences on the #MeToo Movement:

Violence Against Women Webinars

The Sexual Harassment and Violence Working Group has been putting on a series of webinars on issues involving violence against women. The webinars touch on topics of Online Violence; Femicide, Domestic Violence, Rape; and Women’s Health, Sexual and Reproductive Rights, and Abortion. These two webinars have been temporarily removed while accessible captions are added. 



The Global #MeToo Movement Book


The 2018 and 2019 speaker/participants, joined by additional scholars and activists from around the globe, wrote a book on The Global #MeToo Movement, documenting the global cultural and legal impact of the #MeToo movement, published in 2020 by Full Court Press.  Berkeley Center Director David Oppenheimer and Ann Noel co-edited the book.


Current Projects


  • The Center is creating a “toolkit” of how to do fair and effective workplace harassment investigations to share with activists worldwide.  
  • The Center is creating a web course on the global #MeToo movement.  
  • The Center is working with the Africa Initiative to End Sexual Harassment on drafting model laws for adoption in Africa.

Who We Are


  • Portrait of Ann Noel

    Ann Noel

    Co-editor, The Global #MeToo Movement. Founder, Noel Workplace Consulting. Former General Counsel, California Fair Employment and Housing Commission.

  • Portrait of Denise Oldham

    Denise Oldham

    Former Director and Title IX Officer, Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination at the University of California, Berkeley.

Student Assistants