Proving that you have been a victim of sexual harassment on the job is no easy task, but employment attorneys are skilled at discovering necessary facts. In many situations, the harassment may have taken place in a more secluded setting, without witnesses present. Nevertheless, victims should not hesitate to pursue claims due to a mistaken belief that it will merely come down to a “he said, she said” situation. Collecting and preserving evidence can help position your complaint for success.
Three key pieces of evidence
There are three critical pieces of evidence that can help support your complaint:
- Any form of communication or surveillance documenting the incident. This can include texts, emails, videos or more that either discuss or otherwise document the incident. Keeping your own record of what took place can help to detail what happened and boost your credibility.
- A human resources complaint or series of complaints. While you should read your employer’s policy on reporting sexual harassment, often the first step toward taking action against the perpetrator is going to your human resources department or a supervisor to file a complaint.
- Witnesses. Tell a trusted friend or colleague following any sexual harassment so you have a record. Find out if others have had similar experiences with the perpetrator and ask about others who worked with the perpetrator and have since resigned.
What if I don’t want a lawsuit, but just want it to stop?
Contacting an attorney as soon as possible is the best strategy. A skilled employment attorney will be able to craft a letter to your employer to both end the harassment and protect your career.
What if I am confused about what to do?
You may want to just put a stop to the conduct. You may prefer to leave your employment—but with a severance settlement to both protect your finances and your career. You may decide to proceed with litigation, but the first step to invoking the legal process is filing an administrative complaint and most complaints result in settlement. When you’re ready to discuss your options, an attorney can help explain your alternatives.
Experiencing sexual harassment at work is something that no one deserves to go through—and it’s against both state and federal law. An employment law attorney can help protect your rights and your career.