If you’re thinking of starting a discrimination or harassment case targeting your employer, you should stay off of social media. You even want to watch what you text or say in email messages. If these things enter into the case, they can undermine what you’re working for.
It’s more than the case itself
People often understand that they should not talk about the discrimination or harassment case itself on social media. What they don’t understand is that it should go further than that. The defense can use almost anything against you, even if it has no bearing on your case — at least, in your mind.
For instance, you may post a picture of yourself at a gathering with friends. In your lawsuit, you allege that the discrimination you faced put a damper on your entire life, leading to depression and constant anxiety. If you’re smiling in the photo, the defense might bring that picture up and say that you certainly don’t seem depressed.
It’s all about optics. Clearly, you can be depressed and still smile. How you act with friends doesn’t define whether or not you’re being discriminated against at work. The picture shouldn’t have any bearing on the case, but it can paint a picture of your life that doesn’t seem to fit in the eyes of the court.
Another issue would be if you wrote a message to someone saying you were going to sue the company. Maybe you just meant you wanted to put an end to the discrimination. But could the defense twist your words to make it sound like you’re just blowing things out of proportion because you want financial compensation? It is possible, even if that’s absolutely not what you meant — and even if it’s clear that you’re going to sue the company because you’re actively doing so. You have to remember how things look.
Preparing for your case
Going dark on social media is just one step as you prepare for your case. Make sure you know exactly what legal options you have and how you should proceed.