Sexual harassment is illegal, especially when it happens at work. Typically, prohibited sexual harassment consists of a series of incidents rather than a single one. Keeping a written and detailed log of the harassing incidents can help you to prove a sexual harassment claim because it can be used as evidence of what occurred. An employment lawyer from Swartz Swidler can explain the types of evidence that you will need to bring a harassment claim.
When you should record an incident
Writing down details of an incident of sexually harassing behavior immediately after it happens is important. Even if you do not plan to file a claim, it is still a good idea to write it down. Sexual harassment may start with an isolated comment or incident but later blossom into an ongoing issue. Writing down details of an isolated incident can help you to show how the harassment evolved. Writing it down while you still remember what happened clearly will help to ensure the accuracy of your account.
What you should write
Writing as much detail as possible is important. You should include all of the following types of incidents:
- Offensive remarks, jokes, or conversations
- Unwanted sexual contact
- Memos or emails that have been sent to you
- Sexual incidents at work
- Any complaints that you have made, including when you made them, what you said, who you made them to, and what the response was
- Names and positions of people who were involved
- Dates and times of all of the incidents
- How you felt
You should ask for copies of the performance evaluations in your personnel file. If your employer later retaliates against you because you filed a sexual harassment complaint, having copies of your performance evaluations can help. Your past positive performance evaluations can allow you to rebut any justification that your employer might claim for firing you or for taking another adverse job action against you in retaliation.
Document any visits to a professional that you see because of stress related to your harassment. Write down whether your doctor diagnosed you with anything, how you were advised, and any medications that you may have been prescribed.
Gather other evidence
Try to find out if any other employees have also complained about sexual harassment. This might help you to gather additional evidence that supports your claim. Speaking to other people at work whom you trust can also help to establish that you were offended by the harassment when it occurred.
Speak to an employment law attorney at Swartz Swidler
Documenting incidents of sexual harassment is the most effective way to gather proof that it occurred. Consulting with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer at Swartz Swidler can help you to understand the types of evidence you should gather and how to record information that might help your claim. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.