Proving Harassment in the Workplace

Written by Ravi Sattiraju on December 9, 2016

An accusation of workplace harassment can permanently damage an individual’s career. On the other side of the equation, being a harassment victim can damage one’s career as well. This is why it is so important to prove whether an alleged act of harassment actually occurred or not.

Proving that harassment happened in your workplace can be difficult. In many cases, there is no physical evidence that harassment occurred. The only evidence might be testimonies from the victim, the alleged perpetrator and sometimes, other individuals at the company. When these testimonies contradict each other, proving a harassment claim can be impossible.

Although it is difficult to prove that harassment occurred, it can be done. If you are a harassment victim, take the following steps to support your claim.

Document Everything

Every time you are subjected to a derogatory comment, an offensive question, unwanted physical contact, or a sexual request, document it. If the harassment is verbal, write it down with the date and time of the incident. If it is delivered via email, save the emails. A substantial body of evidence is critical for proving your harassment claim.

Report Everything

Every time you feel harassed, report it to your supervisor. If your supervisor is the party responsible for the harassment, report it to his or her supervisor. Also be sure to report your experiences to human resources. When you make individual reports of the harassment you face, you are building a paper trail. This paper trail is an important piece of evidence for your claim.

Work with Witnesses

If you are in a hostile work environment, your colleagues have undoubtedly witnessed your victimization. Others in your department or company might have experienced harassment as well. Talk to your colleagues about the harassment and use their testimonies to support your claim.

If one or more of your colleagues are facing harassment, either as part of a hostile work environment or if you notice quid pro quo harassment happening, be supportive of their claim. The investigation that will follow their claim might involve interviews with potential witnesses – if you saw the harassment happen or were otherwise aware of it, cooperate with the investigator.

New Jersey Sexual Harassment Attorneys

Do not allow workplace harassment to derail your career. If you have been a victim of any type of harassment at your job, contact The Sattiraju Law Firm, P.C. to schedule your free legal consultation with a New Jersey sexual harassment attorney at our firm. We take every discrimination claim seriously and will work with you to pursue your claim. Our firm has a solid record of success handling harassment and other types of discrimination cases.

Posted Under: New Jersey Employment Law
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