California workers have the right to a workplace that is free from harassment and discrimination. There are various state and federal laws in place designed to protect the rights of workers, but these types of behaviors still happen. Many workers do not speak out because they fear retaliation or they think there is nothing they can do to prove their case.
If you are the victim of harassment in the workplace, you do not have to suffer in silence. You may feel embarrassed, overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next, but you have rights. One of the most important steps you can take is to
What information do you need?
In many cases of harassment, it is one person’s word against another. Even if you know what happened without a doubt, it will be difficult to bring a claim or take any other course of action without proof. If you have suffered illegal harassment, you have the right to take action to obtain justice and compensation. Documenting specific instances of what you have experienced can help you do that:
- Know the employee handbook, and take note of the specific rules and regulations the offender violated when he or she harassed you.
- Keep track of the mental health care you needed as a result of harassment – this can help prove emotional trauma.
- Document what happened and what is currently happening in a journal, including what happened when you spoke to your employer about it.
- Keep any physical evidence that you have that proves you experienced harassment.
- Write down the names of those who witnessed the event or events.
Harassment is emotionally and mentally overwhelming, but careful, precise documentation can be beneficial and help you fight for the outcome you deserve.
You do not have to wait until you feel like you have enough evidence or experienced enough harassment to validate a claim. You should speak with an experienced workplace harassment attorney who can help you take the next step.
It can be daunting to step out and say you are a victim of harassment, but your brave action will not only protect your interests – it can save others from experiencing the same type of treatment.