Facing any type of harassment can leave you feeling depressed.There are certain types of workplace harassment that are illegal. For example, if someone makes physical threats or comments regarding your race, ethnicity, gender, age or disability, it could meet the legal definition of workplace harassment.
If you work in a hostile environment where harassment on the basis of your membership in a protected class has become relatively commonplace, you likely dread going to work each day. Unfortunately, the harassing actions taken against you can have negative effects on your work performance, personal life and mental state. As a result, you may find yourself considering legal options for addressing the situation.
In order to build a solid case for your harassment complaint, you will need useful and extensive documentation. Of course, you may wonder how to document instances of verbal or physical harassment. Luckily,
File an internal complaint
If co-workers, supervisors, managers or other individuals at your place of employment harass you, you should first file a complaint with the appropriate parties in your company. Often, an employee handbook details the policies and procedures for filing such a complaint; therefore, you may wish to check for the particular steps you need to follow. After filing your complaint, write down the date and time you filed it, to whom you made your statement and any intended steps for addressing the issue.
Keeping information regarding your formal complaint could serve as evidence that you took the steps to make the company aware and that the company did not deal with the problem in a satisfactory manner.
After each harassing event, you should take notes and detail the event in writing as best as you can remember. As mentioned, dates, times and individuals involved can act as important details in your records. Keeping copies of written harassment sent by email or other means can also prove useful.
Additionally, you may wish to speak with any other parties who witnessed the harassment. If you can get the witnesses to provide written statements of their own, those accounts may help bolster your claim. If they do not wish to give a statement to you directly, try to get their name and contact information at the very least.
Taking legal action
If your internal complaint goes unaddressed, you may wish to take further action. Filing a legal claim may help you ensure that the unjust situation gets its due attention. In order to gain assistance in gathering evidence and presenting your argument, you may wish to enlist the help of a California attorney.