Taking a sexual harassment case to court is not a decision that a claimant will have taken lightly, which makes it even more frustrating when the case is then rejected by the court.
Why does this happen?
There are a number of potential reasons why the court won’t entertain a claim in the way that it has been presented to the court. A good way of trying to avoid this scenario in the first place would be to get in touch with a sex crime attorney, who will have the professional knowledge to understand what the court is looking for.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why a sexual harassment claim can get rejected by the court system.
A look at the odds
It is interesting to see a comparison between the anecdotal evidence that suggests a large number of people have been subjected to sexual harassment and the number of cases that actually end up in court.
It is estimated that around 5% of cases ever make it to trial. Those snapshot numbers would suggest that the odds are stacked against claimants in their attempt to bring their alleged perpetrator to account.
A decision that was made several decades ago by the Supreme Court set a benchmark to assess whether someone’s actions count as harassment.
The court decreed that the alleged offender’s actions had to be seen as severe or pervasive in order to meet the criteria needed for a sexual harassment case to proceed.
It is the interpretation of what qualifies under this guidance that creates uncertainty about whether a case will get the go-ahead or not.
The view put forward by some observers is that some judge’s interpretation of what can be considered as sexual harassment is not always in line with current employer policies, for example.
Other examples have been when a judge decides that the alleged infractions happened too infrequently to be considered sexual harassment.
A case to prove
The bottom line when it comes to ensuring that a sexual harassment gets heard in court is that there is a real need to prove intention as much as outlining the actions that led to someone feeling they were sexually harassed.
It is important for anyone considering making a sexual harassment claim to understand that judges hold the trump card when it comes to deciding whether a case should be heard by a court or not.
This level of power can often be at odds with the default position that everyone assumes that they have a constitutional right to have their case heard.
A growing awareness of the emotional distress that surrounds these sorts of allegations is believed to be convincing more people to come forward and make a claim. Using a sex crime attorney can potentially move the odds of a trial higher as they will know what to look for and how to present the facts in the most persuasive way possible.