Sexual harassment in the workplace manifests in many forms, both subtle or obvious. When it happens, you can feel shocked, angry and helpless. For these reasons, most people fear talking about sexual harassment in the workplace for fear that the abuser may retaliate against them.
However, understanding how to properly document sexual harassment in the workplace is key to holding an abuser responsible for their actions. A detailed account of what happened is important when reporting the harassment to your employer and can lend veracity to your claims.
Keep a journal of the harassment
If you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, keep a record of each harassing incident. Here is what you need to include in your journal when documenting sexual harassment:
- Name and job title of the abuser
- Explicit details about what the abuser said or did
- Date and time the harassment happened
- Location of the harassment
- Any witness to the harassment
- What happened after you reported the harassment to your boss, supervisor or the human resources department.
In addition, you should keep copies of any messages, notes, videos or emails that the abuser sent to you. Be sure to keep copies of your journal and messages or emails somewhere off the work site so that none of your documentation can be taken, altered or destroyed.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is never acceptable. If you took your concerns to your employer and were ignored, demeaned or experienced retaliation, you may need to consider further legal options. Learning more about your rights can help.