Blog

Sexual Harassment Cases Often Rejected By Courts

DuPage County sexual harassment lawyersRecently, it seems that sexual harassment is constantly in the news. High-profile personalities such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and even Senator Al Franken have been accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with non-consenting individuals. The silver lining of these disturbing allegations is that the once-taboo subject of sexual harassment is now being talked about and considered more seriously.

Disturbing Numbers

Unfortunately, however, many reports of sexual harassment do not result in any legal action. In fact, of all the reports of workplace sexual harassment, only an estimated 3 percent to 6 percent of the cases ever make it to trial. Compare this statistic to the percentage of women who report they have been sexually harassed at some point in their lives—which is almost 50 percent—and the problem becomes very apparent.

Although almost half of all women have experienced workplace sexual harassment, only about 5-15 percent of these women report the harassment. Most do not report the inappropriate behavior to their employer because they fear that their employer, boss, or other employees will somehow retaliate. Many victims of sexual harassment also do not make a report because they assume that nothing will come of it. So many cases are dismissed that it discourages other victims from coming forward.

The main reason for the high rate of rejected sexual harassment cases is because of the nature of the law. In 1986, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a perpetrator’s behavior needs to be "severe or pervasive" in order to qualify as harassment. Because this standard is subjective, judges are left to make their own decision about the seriousness or pervasiveness of the alleged behavior. If a judge believes that behavior in a particular case does not fit the required criteria, he or she will dismiss the case. Deborah Rhode, director of Stanford's Center on the Legal Profession expands, "Courts have really required the situation to be pretty hellish before they'll find it actionable."

Have You Experienced Sexual Harassment?

It is important to know that a victim of sexual harassment does not need to file a criminal complaint in order to seek justice for the harassment. Many cases are settled out of court with the aid of a skilled attorney. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment but have been hesitant to take action against the perpetrator, know that we are here to help. You do not have to face this alone. Call one of our experienced and compassionate Illinois sexual harassment attorneys today.

 

Sources:

https://www.npr.org/2017/11/28/565743374/sexual-harassment-cases-often-rejected-by-courts

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/nbc-wsj-poll-nearly-half-working-women-say-they-ve-n815376

309 Walnut Street, Unit B
St. Charles, IL 60174
630-665-7300
Evening and weekend hours by appointment.

From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

Facebook Google+ Linked In Twitter Youtube
© 2018 Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC | 1737 South Naperville Road, Suite 100, Wheaton, IL 60189 | 630-665-7300
Take me to top
OVC, INC