During the height of the #MeToo movement in 2017, after years of silence, award-winning actresses, Olympic athletes and countless other female leaders were coming forward to share their stories of harassment. These brave testimonials catapulted employment attorney Ariel Weindling into action to find a solution to help people report workplace harassment and misconduct easily, safely and securely. If even world-famous stars were silent victims, no one was safe, and as a father to a daughter, Ariel sought to find a long-term solution to create more #NotMe’s and less #MeToo’s.
As a seasoned employment attorney, Ariel (who practiced at Littler and MSK in Los Angeles where he was a partner) understands the ins-and-outs of the legal system, the legal obligations of employers and the laws that protect employees. With this knowledge and experience, he set out to create a solution that would enable the average worker to be armed with the right tools to protect themselves, easily speak up and let either his or her employer, or #NotMe, know about an issue.
After spending almost 15 years advising employers on a wide range of employment law related matters, including defending both individuals and companies in harassment and discrimination cases, he saw firsthand that workplace harassment prevention training alone was not effective, nor efficient, and sophisticated employee handbooks and their policies were mostly compliance tools (lip service) that were never used by employees. Throughout his career, he has conducted hundreds of workplace harassment trainings, yet seemingly those trainings neither prevented nor deterred any harassers or bullies to act. Despite almost two decades of mandatory trainings in California, incidents of harassment did not decrease, but to the contrary, rose. Turning to technology for a solution, Ariel worked with a team of engineers, psychologists, human resources (HR) leaders and employment lawyers (representing both defendants and plaintiffs) to create #NotMe, an AI-powered enterprise solution to prevent and report workplace misconduct. #NotMe allows employees to report incidents immediately through an easy-to-use app, while enabling companies to both track incidents and take decisive action swiftly with an AI-powered dashboard that centralizes, organizes and prioritizes the reports.
Providing each employee, from intern to upper management with the same tool, #NotMe restores a power imbalance that has existed for far too long. The #NotMe app is designed to allow employees to submit their experiences with harassment, discrimination or bullying discreetly and safely, without fearing retaliation, while knowing they have the support of #NotMe’s legal resources. In turn, when a company subscribes to #NotMe, it shows they are willing to support and protect their employees. #NotMe bridges the gap between employees and companies by empowering employees to report incidents earlier, and encouraging employers to act decisively and swiftly.
A recent report revealed that 99.8 percent of employees don’t report workplace issues, primarily due to fear of retaliation. While #NotMe requires an employee’s personal information to authenticate their account and to ensure that the system is not misused, the employee’s identity will only be displayed to the employer if he or she chooses to do so during submission. Employees can also report anonymously if they choose, knowing that their voice will still be heard.
In less than three minutes, employees can easily report an incidence of misconduct and continue to log notes about ongoing behaviors privately. The platform offers simple question that make it easy to record all of the relevant facts and employees have 24/7 access to their personal journals. Employees can keep track of incidents, save their daily activity, and make a report only when they are ready. When they do choose to share the report, it will then be stored and sent through the platform’s secure and fully encrypted database.
As a product of his revelations from the courtroom as well as the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, Ariel is transforming and revamping antiquated HR procedures through #NotMe– for good. And disrupting the way the reporting of workplace misconduct is done.