"There remains a sense among Americans that the country’s legal system is well equipped to handle the harassment cases that will likely be brought as more women come forward with accusations, including against celebrities like Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor. The country has laws protecting people against harassment in the workplace and courts in which those laws are supposed to be enforced. Several high-profile lawsuits — including Gretchen Carlson’s suit against the former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, which was settled for $20 million — have reinforced this impression.
"But this notion is misleading. In fact, courts routinely dismiss cases brought by workers who claim their supervisors propositioned them, kissed them or grabbed their breasts. The judges declare that the conduct does not constitute harassment in a legal sense, and refuse to let the cases go to trial. How did we get here?"
In an op-ed published by the New York Times, Professor Suja Thomas and her book co-author Sandra Sperino (Professor, Cincinnati Law) describe how and why so many sexual harassment cases are dismissed by judges.
Note: The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Illinois College of Law.