According to a study from the UMass Amherst Center for Employment Equity, only a small percentage of sexual harassment cases are ever reported through a formal channel. One of the primary reasons why victims avoid reporting harassment is that they do not want to end up in a “he said, she said” situation where they feel like they will not be taken seriously. Here, our Connecticut sexual harassment lawyers discuss the evidence that can be used to prove unlawful harassment in the workplace.
An Overview of Common Types of Evidence in a Sexual Harassment Claim
Every sexual harassment claim carries its own unique set of facts. In some cases, the evidence of illegal harassment is clear and obvious. In other cases, the harassment may be more subtle and complex. An experienced attorney can help you gather and assemble all of the evidence you need to protect your rights and get justice. Some common types of evidence in a sexual harassment case include:
1. Communications (Emails, Text Messages, Voicemails, etc): As a starting point, save all communications between yourself and the harasser. Additionally, save the communications between yourself and your supervisors. Among other things, this includes emails, text messages, and voicemails. Even if the written communications do not seem “blatant”, they may still be relevant to your case. Context matters.
2. Names of Witnesses: Witness testimony is another important form of evidence. Write down the names of witnesses who saw any aspect of the sexual harassment. A witness does not have to have seen everything that happens to support your claim.
3. Contemporaneous Notes: We strongly recommend that sexual harassment victims keep an ongoing journal/notes describing exactly what happened. Contemporaneous notes are a compelling form of evidence in a sexual harassment claim. While handwritten notes can be useful, it is often best to keep an electronic record. Should it be required, you can prove exactly when an electronic document was created or modified.
4. Dates of Adverse Action: Employees have the right to report sexual harassment or file a complaint without fear of retribution. If any adverse action was taken against you after you reported sexual harassment, you may have been the victim of unlawful retaliation. Save any evidence of adverse action.
Under state and federal regulations, Connecticut employers have a legal responsibility to investigate all sexual harassment claims in a prompt and fair manner. Our New Haven, CT sexual harassment lawyers can also initiate a concurrent investigation to ensure that all relevant evidence is obtained and secured.
Get Help from Our New Haven Workplace Harassment Lawyers Today
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, we are proud of our long record of success advocating for the rights of employees. Our lawyers have considerable experience handling sexual harassment cases. If you have questions about proving harassment in the workplace, we are available to offer guidance and support. For a fully private case evaluation, please reach out to our New Haven law office at (203) 691-6491. We serve clients throughout the state of Connecticut.