Documenting sexual harassment in the workplace: What to know

| Oct 26, 2021 | Workplace Sexual Harassment

Inappropriate touching, jokes and comments that are sexual in nature are just some of the examples of acts that qualify as sexual harassment. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is a major issue in the workplace throughout the United States, and it is something that both employers and employees need to pay attention to. 

Reporting sexual assault can be stressful for two reasons. Filing a report can be stressful because you have to describe uncomfortable situations to your employer. You also have to back up your claim with evidence. While employers should take your allegations seriously, some overlook sexual harassment claims. 

If your employer is unwilling to act on your allegations, you must file a formal complaint with the appropriate authorities.

When to document sexual harassment in the workplace

Putting together evidence of sexual harassment should begin as soon as possible. You should keep a journal of everything that happens so there is a clear record of incidents that you can use to prove your case. 

It does not matter how significant the incident is. Be sure to note everything. Remember, the problem with sexual harassment is that it can start with very benign gestures before escalating out of control. Hence, you never know when a casual joke might turn into something quite serious. Be sure to keep track of everything because you never know when those little details might become handy. 

What you should record

As soon as sexual harassment takes place, be sure to record the date, time and where it occurred. Again, be as detailed as possible. Write down the perpetrator, what they said or did and the duration of the incident. If you were touched inappropriately, note down what you were wearing and the area of the body they touched. If you were offended by the behavior and asked the perpetrator to stop, write down how this made you feel and how this unwanted behavior affected your work performance. 

Sexual harassment impacts the victim’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. If you believe that you have been sexually harassed at the workplace, you must take appropriate steps to document the vice so you can have sufficient evidence when seeking justice.