Imagine the following scenario: It’s an average day of work, and you’re in the break room having your lunch. Unintentionally, you bump into your manager as you’re getting your sandwich out of the fridge. Then you hear it. They mutter a racially-charged epithet about you under their breath, saying they knew they shouldn’t have hired someone of your race.
Or, imagine this: Your boss asks you to bring something to them from the printer. In their office, it’s just you and them. You begin talking, and the conversation starts light and easy-going. But out of nowhere, your boss begins to compliment your appearance and suggest things about you that make you feel uncomfortable.
Both of these scenarios describe different forms of workplace discrimination and harassment. Naturally, if you ever find yourself in either of these situations, you have legal recourse.
However, there’s something important to keep in mind here. If these situations happen to you, your case may not be strong enough to bring to court if you do not adequately document them.
The Importance of Documenting Workplace Harassment
Suppose you have been harassed or discriminated against in the workplace, and you are considering taking legal action. In that case, it is critical to remember that your case is only as strong as the evidence you preserve at the time of the offense(s). For this reason, at the very first moment you notice any workplace harassment or discrimination, you must start documenting the evidence as closely as possible.
How to Document Harassment in the Workplace
The best way to keep track of unfortunate workplace harassment or discrimination is to explicitly prepare a journal or log that describes the incident(s). In your logbook, certain things must be included:
- The date and time of each incident
- Who was involved
- Any potential witnesses of the incident
In addition to your log of the event, you’ll need to create a formal written complaint. This complaint must be in writing, and you must sign it. Make it as detailed as possible. It would help to outline what happened and why you are writing a complaint.
Bring this document, along with any other evidence you may have, to your supervisor or human resources department.
Inappropriate Communications With Superiors or Coworkers
It’s important to remember that any evidence you have will be of the utmost importance in a harassment or discrimination case.
Therefore, if you receive any written threats or harassment messages from anyone you work with, these are things you’ll want to hang onto. The same goes for any photos, videos, or attachments you receive
For example, imagine you get an inappropriate text message from your coworker or an inappropriate photo from your boss. These, too, must be documented and kept.
Take a screenshot of any such communication, and save it for your records.
When Harassment Extends Beyond the Workplace
In today’s social media age, harassment can also extend beyond just the office space. At our law firm, we’ve worked with several employees who have experienced many different forms of harassment.
For example, screenshot these occurrences if your coworker or supervisor sends you an inappropriate photo, inappropriate comments, or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, etc. Please keep them if you decide to file a formal complaint with your human resources department.
Contact Knoll Law Group to Discuss Your Case Today
At Knoll Law Group, our firm represents individuals and employees who’ve been harmed or wronged in the workplace.
If you have questions about what you should be doing to preserve and gather evidence concerning workplace harassment or discrimination, give us a call. We’re here to help.