What to Write in Your Sexual Harassment Log
Sexual harassment is a form of sex-based employment discrimination prohibited by several state and federal laws. Employers cannot treat employees differently or give them different opportunities simply on the basis of sex alone.
The two types of sexual harassment recognized by the law are “quid pro quo” harassment and “hostile environment” harassment. The first happens when a superior or other person of authority attempts to garner sexual favors from employees in exchange for work benefits or promotions. An employer threatening to fire an employee who refuses his or her sexual advances is also committing quid pro quo harassment. Hostile environment harassment can include persistent comments, jokes, or physical contact which leaves an employee so disturbed, he or she is unable to do his or her job. If you have been sexually harassed, one of the most important steps you will need to take in order to bring your harasser to justice is to keep a sexual harassment log.
Your Sexual Harassment Log Can Be the Key to Proving Sexual Harassment Occurred
In previous articles, we have discussed the procedure for reporting workplace sexual harassment. Staying silent about harassment only gives the harasser more power to abuse other innocent people. One of the most powerful tools you have as an individual fighting against workplace sexual harassment is documentation. Almost all sexual harassment lawsuits depend on the victim’s ability to prove that the harassing behavior occurred. In addition to keeping copies of emails, text messages, and instant messages containing harassing language, victims of sexual harassment should also keep written notes about inappropriate or harassing behavior. These notes will be invaluable to you and your attorney if your sexual harassment case goes to trial.
Include As Much Information As You Can in Your Log
As for what to include in your sexual harassment log, more is always better. If you think a comment, joke, or action is even slightly harassing, write it down. Things like sexual comments, remarks about a person’s body, unwanted physical contact such as hugs or shoulder rubs, or solicitations for sex or a date can all be considered harassing behavior. In your log, make sure to include:
- The time, date, and location in which the incident occurred;
- The names of the individuals involved and their job titles;
- A detailed description of the incident;
- The names and titles of any witnesses to the harassment; and
- How you responded to the harassment.
When making note of harassing behavior, make sure to remain objective and include as many direct quotes and factual information as possible. If you use a company computer or cell phone, it may be best to keep your log in a personal device or notebook.
Call Us for Help
The Wheaton sexual harassment attorneys at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, have extensive experience and success in battling workplace sexual harassment. To schedule a completely confidential consultation about your case, call 630-665-7300 today.