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Employment Law in the Metaverse: Harassment, Discrimination, Accommodations, Jurisdiction, Privacy, Cyber Security, Digital Outsourcing

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, September 29, 2022

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will advise counsel on employment issues in the metaverse. The panel will address the practical and legal considerations, including concerns surrounding sexual harassment, diversity and discrimination, and accessibility accommodations implicated when interacting in the metaverse. The panel will also discuss concerns related to data collection, privacy, and cybersecurity, as well as how state employment laws and federal regulations might be implemented in the metaverse.


Technology is creating new legal issues for employers. The metaverse, a virtual world in which users interact in simulated environments, is expanding as companies begin exploring augmented reality as a means of improving workflow and communication. This has created a number of issues that employment policies, laws, and regulations have not directly addressed.

One of the first legal issues to arise in the metaverse was a claim of sexual harassment, which will be discussed alongside the related issues presented by verbal harassment, bullying, and discrimination in the metaverse. Such acts may occur when, for instance, an avatar in a virtual space “physically” harasses someone, is designed to have inappropriate bodily proportions or characteristics, etc. When implementing or building a platform, the mechanisms to prevent harassment, discrimination, and bullying should be an initial consideration for employers.

Metaverse platforms may also lead to exclusion of persons with visual, physical, and/or verbal impairments and disabilities depending on the platform design. When implementing or building a platform, employers should carefully consider all accessibility concerns and formulate a clear and concise accommodation strategy.

Until further laws and regulations are passed, employers will need to ensure their regulation of and conduct within the metaverse workplace is aligned with existing federal and state employment laws and regulations. Employers should establish the terms and conditions of use and dispute resolution and revise existing policies pertaining to harassment, discrimination, bullying, accessibility and accommodations, and related reporting obligations.

Together with use of the metaverse, some employers are investigating artificial intelligence as a means of improving efficiency. Employers can create AI supervisors, advisers, and assistants, which can provide support to employees with low level tasks, leaving employees to perform the higher leverage and discretionary functions of their jobs.

Listen as our expert panel discusses the legal issues that will arise as employers move into the metaverse. The panel will address key legal concerns that are likely to arise, and which should be considered before moving onto a virtual platform.



  1. Employment in the metaverse
    1. Defining the metaverse
    2. History of the metaverse
  2. Key issues
    1. Discrimination and harassment
      1. Sexual harassment
      2. Verbal harassment and bullying
      3. Discrimination
    2. Accessibility and accommodations
    3. Jurisdiction
    4. Privacy
    5. Digital outsourcing
    6. Other concerns
  3. Best practices before a transition


The panel will discuss these and other pivotal issues:

  • When should employers consider opening a virtual office on the metaverse or another virtual platform?
  • What should an employer do before opening a virtual office?
  • How can employers address issues of sexual or virtual harassment in the metaverse?
  • How can employers address issues of discrimination in the metaverse?
  • How can employers address accessibility issues and/or accommodation requests related to the metaverse?
  • What issues arise with the use of avatars in the metaverse disguising employee identities?
  • What issues arise with employees' freedom to design their avatars? How can this be addressed preemptively?
  • How can the metaverse and AI be used to improve business efficiency?
  • What are the risks associated with the metaverse and AI and how can an employer minimize them?


Lamm, Emily
Emily M. Lamm

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Ms. Lamm’s practice focuses on employment litigation, counseling, and investigations. She has substantial...  |  Read More

Okeefe, Joseph
Joseph C. O'Keefe


Mr. O'Keefe is an experienced trial lawyer who, for nearly 30 years, has litigated employment disputes of all types...  |  Read More

Rao, Siddartha
Siddartha Rao

Romano Law

Mr. Rao is a commercial litigation and technology attorney with over a decade of experience handling complex commercial...  |  Read More

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