Job-related sexual harassment is infamously difficult to prove. Unless the other party confesses or does nothing to hide their improper conduct, you might need to think creatively.
Fortunately, California courts and lawmakers understand that proof of workplace sexual harassment is elusive in most situations. As such, they consider many factors when ruling on individual harassment cases. Here are three things that can help a case:
1. Documented evidence
The American legal system loves lots of documentation. If you can provide a solid paper trail to support your claim of harassment, it will give you a good start with your case. You can find documented evidence easier than you might think.
Sources to consider:
- Email and text messages between you and your harasser
- Relevant voicemails the harasser may have left (lewd remarks, etc.)
- Workplace performance reviews
- Mental health or medical records relating to the harassment
One form of documentation many victims overlook is their own accounting of the events. If you haven’t already, start and maintain a log of the sexual harassment, including the dates and times when unwanted conduct occurred.
2. Witness statements
If a co-worker or associate sees your ongoing sexual harassment, ask them to sign a witness statement verifying your claims. Courts often give considerable weight to these statements because witnesses usually have nothing to gain by speaking out.
3. Official reports
Although you may feel uncomfortable, you must report workplace sexual harassment to a superior and ask for help stopping the conduct. Doing so proves you tried to resolve the matter before seeking a legal solution.
An experienced employment law practitioner can suggest other ways to prove you are the victim of workplace sexual harassment.