Proving Claims for Sexual Harassment
Lawyers Help Victims of Sexual Harassment Prove Claims
Proving sexual harassment in the workplace is not always easy. Attorneys who have experience handling employment discrimination cases in New York, like the ones at Leeds Brown Law, P.C., can assist victims to compile records and preserve information, so there are facts to support allegations. Presenting a strong case in any Title VII discrimination matter is crucial to recovering the maximum damages the law allows.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of sex. Under Title VII, sex discrimination includes sexual harassment. Sexual harassment generally occurs in one of two ways:
Hostile Work Environment – A hostile work environment exists when sexual harassment becomes so pervasive in the workplace that it makes the victim feel uncomfortable, threatened, unsafe or unable to do the job. Behavior that may create a hostile work environment can include lewd comments, sexual jokes, innuendo, pictures, unwanted touching, and unwelcome advances.
Quid Pro Quo (QPQ) – QPQ sexual harassment occurs when someone in a position of authority promises an employment benefit or threatens an adverse employment consequence to a subordinate, based on his or her performance (or non-performance) of a sexual favor.
Proving sexual harassment of any kind has its challenges. Often, there is a “he said, she said” situation because the events took place in private. Other times, co-workers may suggest that the victim did not ask them to stop their offensive behavior and, therefore, it was not unwelcome. For these and other reasons, it is imperative that anyone experiencing sexual harassment keep a log or diary of events as they occur. If an employee wishes to pursue legal remedies against an employer, that record can be crucial to negotiating a fair settlement or building a court case.
Attorneys at Leeds Brown can help if you are considering reporting or filing a claim for sexual harassment against your employer. We have decades of experience settling and litigating employment law cases and know what it takes to compile and present substantial evidence. Our attorneys are aggressive advocates for victims of employment discrimination and sex harassment. If you are entitled to financial compensation, reinstatement or other legal remedies, Leeds Brown can help. If you contact us as soon as you experience sexual harassment, we can provide guidance about how to document the events.
Keeping a Log Helps Preserve Evidence
QPQ sexual harassment can consist of a single incident while a hostile work environment claim occurs over time, with several events taking place. You may experience something that, at first seems innocent, but it evolves into something more serious. Even if you aren’t sure that a behavior is sexual harassment, write it down anyway. It can play a role in establishing a timeline that shows conduct becoming more pervasive or more severe. It can also demonstrate how long you have been forced to tolerate the harassment. Multiple incidents can happen with large gaps in between. You may not realize that there is a pattern until you look back at your notes.
Write things down even if you do not, at that moment, intend ever to file a claim. You never know when something will change. Be ready when it does.
Details Can Help Support a Claim
Regardless of the type of sexual harassment, it is important that you record the details of the harassing incidents close to when they take place. If you can record them while your memory is fresh, and include specifics, you may be able to rely on the information in the future if you decide to seek relief from the harassment.
You probably can’t write too much- the more detail, the better. For example, consider recording the following information:
- The events – details of the harassment itself, such as, posting sexual photos, telling inappropriate jokes, unwanted touching, sexual advances, threats of termination, receipt of explicit emails
- The dates, times and locations of the incidents
- The names and titles of the parties involved
- The names of witnesses and perhaps others who have stories of similar sexual harassment
- Details about your immediate emotional and physical reaction to the harassment
- Print and save copies of emails, memos, communications or notes related to the sexual harassment and your company’s response to it
- Details about whether you complained to anyone, including the harasser(s); detail what you said, when, to whom, and his/her reaction.
- Details about how your employer reacted including what was said and what was or was not done
- Details, including dates and times, about any medical and psychological treatment you are receiving or medication you are taking because of the sexual harassment
Keeping a log with timely written details can make it easier to go back and understand what happened. Having facts and documents to support a claim for sexual harassment makes your employer know that you are serious about pursuing any legal remedies available to you.
Employment Records Assist with Retaliation Claims and Sexual Harassment Claims
It is always important to keep records of your performance during your tenure. You should keep copies of all reviews, complaints, evaluations, and emails related to your job performance, relationships with customers and co-workers. Your work history may become crucial in a sex discrimination, sexual harassment and/or retaliation case. Your employer may argue that an adverse employment decision was based on poor performance. You should have evidence to refute this so you can prove the decision was discriminatory or retaliatory.
For example, after you complain to HR about your department manager sexually harassing you, the president of the company tells you that you are moving to a lower paying job with less responsibility. The president says it is because your department manager stated that you are not doing your current job well. If you have records of your positive past evaluations, no written complaints, and yearly raises, it can help you prove that the manager is retaliating against you for complaining about the sexual harassment.
If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, New York employment law attorneys at Leeds Brown can provide you with a free case evaluation. We can help you understand your rights and how to protect them.
Call 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation. Someone is here to take your call 24/7. Call Leeds Brown today and learn more about your sexual harassment case from lawyers who take pride in securing financial recoveries for workers who face discrimination.