Keeping a Sexual Harassment Log
Experienced Legal Advice for Victims of Sex Harassment in DuPage and Kendall Counties
Because sexual harassment rarely is limited to a single incident, it is important to document incidents as they occur. It is easier to prove your claim of sexual harassment if you are able to cite to specific incidents and keeping a log of those incidents makes this much easier to accomplish. It is important to consult an experienced sexual harassment attorney early in the process to learn what to document and what details you should include.
When to Record an Incident
A victim of sexual harassment should record each incident as soon as it happens while your memory is fresh. This is true even if you aren't sure the incident qualifies as sexual harassment or even if you don't believe you will ever pursue a claim. It is not unusual for sexual harassment to start with comments or behavior that may not seem like harassment and then evolve over time. It will be important to be able to demonstrate a timeline for the harassment and how it has evolved over time.
What to Write
Don't worry about writing too much. It is better to include too much detail than not enough as your memory will not be as fresh later and you may not know what may prove to be important later. Be sure to include all offensive conversations or remarks, any touching or contact of a sexual nature, other types of sexual incidents such as posting pornography or telling off-color jokes, offensive emails or memos you have received, and any complaints you have made being sure to include details about when the complaints were made and to whom, what you said and what your employer's response was. Be sure to keep hard copies of any written communication.
Make sure your log contains as much detail as possible. Include the names and titles of others involved, dates and times of all incidents, and the names of any witnesses. You should also include documentation of your emotional reaction as it could become an important part of your claim.
It is also important to keep copies of your performance evaluations. If your employer retaliates in the future by denying you a raise or promotion it will be important to know what your prior history has been to rebut that the denial was based on your work performance.
Victims of sexual harassment should also record whether they are seeing any medical professionals as a result of the harassment. If they are, they should document the results of all visits including any diagnosis made and any medications prescribed.
Finally, make sure your log is detailed and thorough. If someone else has to read your log in the future they should be able to learn what happened and feel as if they were there based on reading your log.
It's possible you are not the only victim of sexual harassment in your workplace. Try to learn if others have complained of the same or similar behavior. Talk to others you trust at work. This could also have the benefit of keeping you from feeling so isolated and also lend proof to the fact that the offending behavior affected you at the time it occurred.
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