Sexual harassment at work is more common than many people realize, in part because it goes unreported so often. Employees often worry about losing their jobs or getting stuck in a situation where it is just their word against someone else’s.
You can avoid both of these pitfalls. For one thing, firing you for reporting harassment is illegal and should never happen. You have options if it does. Secondly, you should always document sexual harassment so that you have the proof you need when you file your suit.
What should you do to document sexual harassment?
Documenting sexual harassment can happen in many ways. It may be as simple as taking notes. If someone makes an inappropriate comment or a joke, you can write down when and where it happened. Keep track of what was said and who else might have heard it. Be as specific as you can at that moment.
If possible, it strengthens your case to have electronic documentation. If someone sends you email messages that are meant to harass you, print them off and save both copies — electronic and physical — so that you always have them. The same is true with social media messages or text messages. Take screenshots if you can, and put them in a secure folder. Don’t let anyone else have control, allowing them to delete the evidence with their profile or account.
What do you do next to protect your future?
After you take the time to document your case, then it’s time to begin looking into your legal options. You are clearly protected from harassment by the law. Now it’s time to enforce that if it’s happening anyway.