Sexual harassers and their employers need to be held accountable for their actions. This is especially true when one considers the harm that sexual harassment causes to victims. One of the best ways to find accountability is to pursue a civil lawsuit. Yet, this can be a challenging endeavor given that it often pits the word of one individual against another. So, before you embark on a legal claim against your harasser and his or her employer, you need to carefully consider what you can do to build your case.
Gathering evidence of sexual harassment
The chances are pretty good that there’s actually more evidence of the sexual harassment that you’ve been subjected to than you think. You just have to keep your eyes open. One of the most effective ways to gather evidence of this harassment is to document everything. Write down every detail of a harassing event and what your employer has said when you’ve reported the issue.
Another helpful thing to do is to keep everything. Voicemails, emails, and even handwritten communications can be powerful in your sexual harassment case. And this evidence doesn’t just have to come from your harasser. Communications from witnesses can also strengthen your case. Even your employee handbook and company policies pertaining to sexual harassment can help demonstrate just how egregious the behavior has been or how your employer has failed to protect you.
Take the legal steps you need to succeed
Although no particular outcome can be guaranteed in a particular case, there probably are certain legal steps that you can’t forego if you hope to succeed. Depositions, for example, can lock your harasser’s testimony down prior to trial so that you have time to figure out how to poke holes in his or her story. Obtaining personnel files and complaint records from your employer can demonstrate a pattern of behavior and the steps that your employer has or hasn’t taken to address the issue.
These can be highly technical legal issues, of course, and developing strong legal arguments to support your position takes skill and knowledge of the law. If you think that you could benefit from assistance handling these matters, then it might be time to discuss your case with an attorney who you think will zealously advocate on your behalf.