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How Can I Prove Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

Sexual harassment is one of the most difficult charges to prove. In many cases, events occur when only two people – the victim and the harasser – are present and it ends up being a case of your word against theirs. Despite the challenge you face when it comes to proving the harassment, it is still important you take action, especially when the harassment occurs in the workplace. Otherwise, the situation can escalate to where you feel unsafe or the harasser can target co-workers.

What can you do to build a strong case in your favor?

Keep a Detailed Contemporaneous Record of Events

Obviously, a personal record of anything that occurs can be skewed in one person or another’s favor, but documenting your experiences shows you are taking things seriously. You need to keep detailed notes about quid pro quo harassment, which occurs when you are offered a benefit in exchange for a sexual favor or threatened with negative consequences if you do not perform sexual favors. It is also important to keep a record of any time you are treated differently than your co-workers or subjected to inappropriate comments. Harassers often create a hostile work environment for their victims. Make note of what is said or done, the date, time, location, and if there are any witnesses.

It is also important to guard your notes carefully. Don’t keep them on your work computer or leave them on your desk. If you are fired as a result of your complaint or for any other reason, you will lose access to the information you have recorded.

Save Any Correspondence from the Harasser

If you receive emails, texts, or notes from your harasser, do not get rid of them. Even if they are offensive and difficult to look at or read, it is important you have record of this communication. It will serve as evidence and is undeniable proof you are a victim. If messages have been transmitted through your phone or computer, make sure you print them in case something happens to jeopardize your electronics.

Report the Harassment to the Appropriate Workplace Authorities

Though it may do no good, you need to make sure you go through the appropriate channels regarding sexual harassment. Make sure your report is in writing and document how it was handled and if anything changed after your report. Unless your company has a specific policy in place, there is nothing requiring the harasser to be fired. You are also not entitled to the details of any disciplinary measures, but the harassment must stop.

File a Report with the EEOC and Explore Your Legal Options

If harassment continues after you speak to the appropriate people within your company, your next step is to report your case to contact an attorney to discuss your options. There is no reason why you should feel threatened or unsafe in your workplace because of sexual harassment.

If you are experiencing sexual harassment or you have questions about how to deal with inappropriate behavior of any kind in a hostile work environment, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.


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