3 ways to document workplace harassment
Workplace harassment can occur in many different ways. Perhaps one coworker or supervisor makes repeated unwanted sexual advances toward a specific employee. Perhaps a group of workers target someone and create a hostile work environment because of their age or race.
Workplace harassment can be demoralizing and sometimes even dangerous. It is also a violation of a Florida worker’s rights under state and federal statutes. Yet, someone who is hoping to take legal action over workplace harassment typically needs proof that it has actually occurred.
Keeping detailed notes
Someone who writes down the details of workplace harassment won’t have to worry about forgetting the information later. The time, date and location of an incident are all crucial details if someone intends to take legal action later. The other party involved, exactly what they said/did and anyone who witnessed the incident are all also important details.
Keeping written records or possibly a video diary that someone maintains privately describing each workplace harassment incident they experience could help them prove in the future exactly what has occurred in their place of employment. Given that Florida does not allow individuals to record others without their consent, a written record or a video journal is the best way to keep a consistent record of each incident.
Talking to witnesses and coworkers
Discussing what happened with witnesses might help ensure they remember the issue in the future if they ever have to testify or speak to someone from Human Resources during an investigation. Talking about the situation with coworkers or even family and friends after work can achieve the same thing. The more witnesses there are to corroborate someone’s claim of experiencing misconduct, the easier it may be to take legal action or prevail during an internal investigation. Those who discuss the matter with the person experiencing harassment can also testify about the emotional, social or professional impact the matter generated.
Notifying the company once they have proof
After a handful of incidents or a particularly glaring infraction that involved witnesses, a worker dealing with harassment on the job should follow the company protocol for reporting harassment or discrimination. That way, there will be an internal record at the company of the complaint. Workers should keep their own records about submitting a complaint or requesting an investigation. That way, they have evidence to prove that they took the right steps and that the company did not. Additionally, if the company tries to punish them later, their personal records could help lend credibility to claims of employer retaliation.
Creating verifiable records is an important step for those seeking justice for discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Those who have questions about this process can seek legal guidance at any time.