Facing sexual harassment is distressing, and our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers understand how vital it is to build a strong case against the offender. It begins with gathering comprehensive evidence, the backbone of any legal claim.
Understanding Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination violating both state and federal laws. It is not limited to overt physical conduct. In fact, sexual harassment can take the form of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. This includes inappropriate jokes, comments, or even displaying sexually explicit pictures or drawings. Recognizing such behaviors as sexual harassment is the first step in your journey toward justice.
Starting Point: Documenting Incidents
The initial stages of building a sexual harassment case involve meticulous documentation. This means keeping a record of each incident, however minor it may seem. Such records should include specific details – dates, times, locations, people involved, and what exactly transpired. You should also note down any actions you took in response, such as reporting the incident or asking the harasser to stop. These records can serve as an essential timeline, highlighting the pattern and severity of the harassment.
Communicating with the Harasser
While confronting the harasser may not be easy, or even always safe, it can sometimes serve as valuable evidence. If you feel comfortable, let them know that their behavior is inappropriate and unwelcome. It’s important to document these interactions, as they establish that you found the actions offensive and made attempts to stop the behavior. If you don’t feel safe communicating directly, consider a written message or involve a supervisor or HR representative.
Reporting the Harassment Internally
Reporting the harassment within your organization is a key step. Whether it’s to your supervisor, the human resources department, or a designated authority, this step signals that you’re taking formal action. Remember to document when and how you made these internal reports, including details of the conversations, any responses you received, and actions taken. If the organization fails to respond adequately, this documentation can serve as significant evidence of neglect on its part.
Gathering Corroborating Evidence
Your experiences can be validated and strengthened by corroborative evidence. This evidence can come from witnesses who saw the harassment or who you confided in about the incidents. Other colleagues who have been victims of similar harassment from the same person can provide additional corroborative evidence, strengthening the pattern of the harasser’s misconduct.
Preserving Physical Evidence
Any physical objects related to the harassment need to be preserved as they can serve as tangible proof. This could include inappropriate gifts, letters, pictures, or any other items that have a connection to the misconduct. Even objects that may seem trivial can be essential, as they add to the overall picture of the harasser’s actions.
Role of Moore Ruddell LLP in Building a Sexual Harassment Case
Gathering evidence and building a case can be challenging, particularly when you’re dealing with the distress of harassment. At Moore Ruddell LLP, we offer guidance tailored to your specific situation. We help you identify what qualifies as evidence, advise you on how to collect it, and assist you in organizing and presenting it effectively. Our commitment is to ensure your experiences are acknowledged and that justice is served.