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Protect yourself from termination due to harassment claims

You spend a significant portion of your life at the workplace, and any amount of discomfort can be debilitating. When someone is harassing you or engaging in offensive behavior, you may feel lost on how to resolve the situation.

It is difficult to predict how your superiors may respond to harassment claims, so it is wise to do your due diligence in preparing your report. The more documentation you provide, the more protected you are against losing your job because of these claims.

Identify harassment

Harassment is any unwelcome behavior, both physical and verbal, that targets your membership of a specific group. The state of California has several protected classes that do not have to put up with harassment of any kind. Some examples include gender, age, religion and sexual orientation.

Gather official evidence

If there are signs of harassment in emails, voicemail messages, evaluations or other easy-to-document mediums, begin gathering all such information in one place.

Sometimes, you may lack physical evidence to support your claims. If others witnessed the behavior, see if any of them will supply detailed accounts of what they heard or saw. Recount any specific instances on paper, giving as much information as you can remember.

Submit a claim in writing

Depending on who the perpetrator is, you may submit the claim to your direct boss or supervisor. If one of these individuals is the person harassing you, you will need to go above them to human resources.

By making your accusation in writing, you supply irrefutable evidence of your claim. This can protect you if your employer decides to retaliate by firing you. You can present the written claim as proof that your company terminated you because of your harassment concerns.

At every step of the process, make sure your document everything. If your boss decides to fire you without just cause, you can then have ample evidence to back up a wrongful termination suit.

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