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4 pieces of evidence to support a sexual harassment claim

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2022 | Employment Law |

A month into your new job, the sexual harassment began. Initially, you brushed aside the questionable comments a division manager made about your appearance.

However, this behavior took on a gradual escalation that included inappropriate physical contact, double entendre emails, and finally a threat that you would lose your job unless you provided sexual favors. This was final straw as it was time to report this sexual harassment, and you had the evidence.

Messages, witnesses, recordings and details

Victims of sexual harassment often feel shock and disbelief that such behavior has taken place. But they also wonder whether anyone will believe them. The harassers may be co-workers, supervisors and executives. Some companies even protect these harassers, usually the ones who have reached the higher levels within the company.

As the victim of workplace sexual harassment, you need to make sure to gather evidence. Here are four types of evidence that will support your claims:

  • Emails and messages: Save and print them. This would be questionable, threatening and distasteful messages. This also would include text messages and social media posts targeting you. (If the harasser has your personal phone number and views your social media accounts.)
  • Witness names: Assemble the names of the people who were present when the harassment incidents occurred. These people will be able to provide corroborating evidence.
  • Recordings: Voicemails and recordings of private calls are essential. However, understand that some legal issues exist related to recording people at work without permission. Take great care here. But, in most workplaces, meetings and events are recorded, so make sure to retain these recordings.
  • Detailed notes: Such notes should include the dates, times and descriptions of the harassment incidents and what occurred. Be precise and exact, identifying the harasser and what he or she said and did. Do not record these notes on a workplace device. Use a personal notebook or your home computer.

Support your case and stand up for yourself and other workplace sexual harassment victims. Strong evidence is crucial.

An attorney can help

Consider reporting these incidents to a human resources (HR) representative or a trusted manager. However, sometimes, this may be possible if HR and managers remain well aware of this culture, choosing to harbor it rather than confront it. That is why working with an experienced and empathetic attorney often is your best option.

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