How to Create a Sexual Harassment Diary for a Potential Claim
Sexual harassment claims often involve a series of incidents of harassment rather than just one. These claims can be challenging, because it's often the word of the victim against the perpetrator, and the discrimination can be subtle.
Documenting a claim of discrimination is critical to building a strong claim for compensation. One important way to do this is by creating a sexual harassment log.
Tips for Creating a Sexual Harassment Log
Since you must often prove a pattern of discrimination in a sexual harassment case, collecting evidence on a regular basis is important. A sexual harassment log is way to collect some of this information in one place. It can provide your attorney with details of the harassment; lead to additional evidence; and help you to remember what happened when you need to testify at a deposition or trial.
Here are some guidelines to follow in developing your sexual harassment diary:
- Keep the details in one place. Rather than writing about incidents of sexual harassment on random pieces of paper or documents, you want to keep all log entries in one place so that you can find them when you need them.
- Write your notes soon after the incident. Writing out the details while they're still fresh in your mind is important. In addition, your log entries will be more credible if they're prepared near the date of the occurrence rather than weeks or months later.
- Document what happened. Include important details, such as the date, time, place, perpetrator, and any witnesses. Be specific about any offensive statements, your response, or the exact body parts touched inappropriately.
- Include your complaints to management. Be certain to document your complaints to management about the offensive behaviors, their responses, and any efforts by your supervisor to investigate your complaint.
- Save emails and other written communications. Create a file of emails containing sexually offensive language, correspondence, or other written evidence of your sexual harassment, as well as communications regarding your complaints to your employer. Keep this information with your diary.
- Save past performance reviews. Include all performance reviews with your log in case your employer retaliates against you for making sexual harassments complaints.
- Print or save records. You never want to keep your log or other documents proving your sexual harassment claim at your workplace. Save these records either in print or electronic form off-site.
You should also discuss what to include in your sexual harassment diary with an attorney, who can advise you as to the specific information that would be helpful to record. It's always best to contact an attorney when you first suspect that you're a victim of sexual harassment. To schedule your free consultation with Alan Morton, fill out our convenient online form.