Trump’s Tax Reform Affects Settlements of Sexual Harassment Claims, But Training Remains the Best Answer

Just days before we rang in 2018, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became the law, including the special clause titled “Denial of Deduction for Settlements Subject to Nondisclosure Agreements Paid in Connection with Sexual Harassment or Sexual Abuse.” Prior to this statute, the law allowed companies to claim tax deductions for settlements of sexual harassment and abuse claims and for attorney’s fees incurred in defense of such claims, even if the settlement agreements were confidential, which they usually were.  Now, if a settlement agreement prevents a harassment or abuse victim from publicly sharing details about the claim, then the company paying the settlement cannot deduct from taxable income the amount of the settlement or the attorney’s fees incurred in reaching the settlement agreement.  However, while the title of the section declares a lofty goal, its implementation and the practical effect remain less…

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