Types of Evidence in Sexual Harassment Cases
By Gregory Thyberg on May 31, 2019
No one deserves to be sexually harassed or intimidated, especially while they are at work. Sacramento, CA employment law attorney Gregory A. Thyberg has helped clients in quid pro quo and hostile work environment sexual harassment cases, holding supervisors and companies accountable for their failure to prevent these harmful actions.
The success of a sexual harassment lawsuit may depend on the quality of the evidence. The team at ThybergLaw would like to take a look at the types of evidence in sexual harassment cases.
Direct Evidence of Sexual Harassment
Direct evidence of sexual harassment involve straightforward demands or actions that are classified as sexual harassment.
If a supervisor tells you that you must perform a sexually inappropriate act to receive a promotion, this is direct evidence of sexual harassment. The same is true of lewd jokes being sent or transmitted to a worker. If the direct evidence is in writing or recorded, that makes the case easier. Witness testimony can also help bolster your case of sexual harassment.
Circumstantial Evidence of Sexual Harassment
Circumstantial evidence of sexual harassment means evidence that indirectly points to sexual harassment. The harassment is either implied in the statement or act, or a person infers sexual harassment from the statement or act.
In these cases, a supervisor may not explicitly state that a worker must engage in inappropriate behavior or be fired, but the wording may be such that this is the underlying meaning of the statement. This could also involve a history of a supervisor propositioning workers, which shows a pattern of inappropriate behavior.
One Person’s Word Against Another
Sometimes when there is no text, video, recording, or other documentary evidence of the act of harassment, it does come down to competing views of the events. If there are co-workers or former employees who can vouch for your case, this can make sexual harassment easier to prove.
Regardless, our Sacramento law firm feels that you should take common sense approaches to help strengthen your claims of sexual harassment. Having evidence can be key to holding people accountable for their actions.
Record and Log All Incidents of Sexual Harassment
If you have been propositioned by a supervisor or co-worker, or have experienced a hostile work environment, be sure to record the incident in some way. Save emails or voicemails and take pictures of inappropriate images. If you cannot record or save the evidence (as would be the case in a conversation or meeting), take a memo noting the date, time, and place of the incident, with as much detail about what transpired.
What to Do with the Sexual Harassment Evidence
Any evidence should be brought to HR or the appropriate person at your workplace who handles these complaints. The evidence can also be presented to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) when filing a formal sexual harassment complaint.
Our lawyers can also look over this evidence to determine how to proceed in your sexual harassment case.
Learn More About Sexual Harassment Cases
For more information about your legal options after experiencing mistreatment on the job, be sure to contact a skilled workplace sexual harassment lawyer. You can reach ThybergLaw in Sacramento at (916) 204-9173.