It can be devastating to experience mistreatment in the workplace. Your place of employment should be safe, and you should be able to do your job without fearing that you could experience sexual harassment or other types of inappropriate behavior. Unfortunately, some employees do experience sexually inappropriate behaviors at work, and they may be unsure of what to do next or how they can make the treatment stop.
If you are a victim of this type of behavior, you have the right to speak up and take action. While it can seem intimidating to bring your experience to light, you do not have to face it alone. In fact, you could have grounds to take legal action against your employer or others who may be responsible for what happened to you. One important step for you to take is to carefully document your experience.
The importance of documentation
By documenting your experience, you will have a better chance of holding the responsible parties accountable for what you went through. Sexual harassment cases are complicated and sensitive, and carefully gathering documentation will give you a higher chance of success with your claim. Ways you can do this include the following:
- Take pictures of anything inappropriate given to you, including gifts, notes or photos.
- Save emails and texts that include sexually inappropriate content.
- Save any records from physical or mental health care needs you had as a result of the harassment.
- Write out how the harassment affected you and your ability to do your job.
- File a report with human resources or follow your employer’s procedures for filing a complaint.
- When you document specific events, make sure to include the date, time and location, as well as names of others who may have seen it.
If you are experiencing sexual harassment at work, you may find that it is difficult to even go back every day, and over time, it can have a severe impact on your overall well-being. You do not have to suffer in silence.
Hold employers accountable
Through a civil claim, you may be able to hold your employer, as well as others, accountable for the mistreatment you experienced while at work. It may be helpful to discuss this possibility with an experienced legal professional with knowledge in California employment law cases. By speaking up, you can seek justice and make your workplace safer for everyone.