I was recently involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, since it was my first accident, I was scatter-brained and anxious. What I did not realize at the time was that the actions you take immediately after the accident can affect a personal injury case and the outcome of that case. I wanted to find a way to share my experiences and mistakes with other. Since the Internet is so popular, I figured this would be a great way to do so. While you likely aren't planning on being in an accident soon, if you are, hopefully you remember some of the tips I share on this website.
Coming forward with a sexual harassment report is understandably difficult for some people. Harassment is wrong and against the law at multiple levels, but depending on your business' culture, proving the harassment and maintaining a successful life after the report may seem like a challenging future. You shouldn't have to be careful, but if you feel like your rights and future may be in danger for reporting harassment, here are a few preparation steps and ways that an attorney could help.
Changing Word Of Mouth To Concrete Evidence
Many forms of sexual harassment are difficult--if not impossible--to prove by simply reporting the case. Over time, multiple reports from multiple victims or witnesses can eventually bring down a perpetrator, but if employee safety is an issue, you'll need to get aggressive with capturing the right kinds of evidence.
Verbal sexual harassment can create caustic, uncomfortable work environments. Unfortunately, many businesses have rules against recording devices due to security or confidentiality concerns. The first thing to understand is that the laws around recording are complex, and are different for every state.
It's of course illegal to steal trade secrets or record confidential information that could damage the company if the company is within legal bounds. In most states in the US, you can throw those rules out of the window. If you're being harassed or the victim of assault, your situation usually trumps any anti-recording rules. That said, there's no reason to assume the rules or rack your brain trying to figure things out on your own.
An Attorney Can Handle Your Concerns Well Before Court
You may not want a harassment case to go to court, or to any kind of negative, attention-grabbing end. You might be a person who absolutely wants legal punishment against the perpetrator, or you may want the offender(s) fired on the spot.
There are many outcomes to a harassment case, but you should consult an attorney to figure out the best way to go about gathering the evidence without letting the harassers off the hook or getting yourself in trouble. The best scenario, of course, is you continuing your success while the perpetrators are punished.
A sexual harassment attorney can listen to your situation and suggest ways to strengthen your case. The attorney can assist with finding out what is and isn't allowed as far as recording, along with other ways of capturing critical evidence. Confessions, fingerprints, or gathering the confidence of witnesses can take coordination to make sure that the perpetrator can't simply slide out of the problem with a mere warning--and to make sure that future problems are dealt with more swiftly.
You may not have confidence with your business' handling of the sexual harassment reports, or you may be harassed by key business members who aren't likely to be punished. Consulting a lawyer takes the issue out of your business' hands and into the court system if you want, which is vital if you believe that career reprisals may happen. You can plan for such reprisals and even sue if you believe that your reputation as a whistleblower is following you.
Contact a sexual harassment lawyer to discuss your reporting options and laws around getting sexual harassment evidence.