Documentation is critical when building any legal case. In instances where there is a hostile work environment, you might need some legal advice during this process. There are many ways that you can collect evidence to demonstrate a hostile work environment, but some of them might not be obvious to you. Get in contact with an experienced legal professional at the earliest possible moment. This can help you to document the hostile work environment in the most effective manner possible, which will strengthen your legal position.
Building the Case, Managing the Situation
It can be extremely difficult to deal with a hostile workplace environment while you are documenting it and trying to perform your usual duties at the same time. It helps to have a strong legal advocate on your side. We can give you advice on how to proceed. For example, you can submit a written complaint directly to your employer. This is the first stage in going through the possible internal channels to resolve the problem. If the employer ignores the request, the courts might find the employer liable for allowing the hostile workplace to continue.
If you continue to report the behavior to the human resources department, you should also keep a written copy of this record. Always make sure that you include a date and time on the documentation. Try to get any evidence in writing, and this includes acts of retaliation. If you are fired after filing a complaint with the HR department, you will have a stronger case once you officially file a complaint with the EEOC, for example. Our legal team can help you to understand the order of escalation, and this will ensure that you take all the appropriate actions before initiating a legal claim.
Protecting the Evidence
Make sure that your documents and records are kept in a secure location away from co-workers, managers, supervisors and others who might be close to the perpetrator. These offenders often operate within a culture of permissiveness, and they might be fully aware that their actions are illegal. If you are dealing with this type of perpetrator, you might find important documents missing if you leave them in your work area unattended. Once you contact an experienced sexual harassment attorney, we will help you to avoid the most common mistakes made by victims. We want your case to prevail in court, so make sure to contact us as soon as possible after the harassment occurs.
Compensatory, Punitive Damages
Sexual harassment at the workplace is an incredibly negative experience. You might suffer emotional trauma and other forms of harm as a result of the actions of the offender. However, you can still seek help in the form of counseling while you are collecting evidence and building a case. This often helps victims to endure the requirements imposed by the legal system, which may include spending additional time and resources documenting the sexual harassment. Once your case goes to court, you can file a claim based on the extent of the damage done to your financial and emotional well-being. You might be entitled to compensatory and punitive damages for losses suffered as a direct result of the harassment.
Legal Assistance and Sexual Harassment Claims
If your employer has more than 15 employees, the law requires you to file a claim with the EEOC before taking the case to trial. This agency will review your case and determine whether you have standing to sue the employer in a federal court of law. This is a major reason why you should get a lawyer immediately after the harassment occurs. In addition, there is a limitation on the amount of time you have to bring a case to trial. You must file a claim within 180 days of the initial harassment in most cases. This requires you to take swift action that is guided by an experienced sexual harassment attorney. Contact Leeds Brown Law for a free consultation.