You deserve to work in an environment that’s free from harassment and discrimination. Yet, time and again, egregious behaviors put Florida workers like you at risk. And while you should feel comfortable reporting harassing or discriminatory practices and behaviors to your employer, all too often, innocent workers are retaliated against for filing a complaint. This retaliation may come in the form of job reassignment, demotion, reduced pay, or even termination.
If you’ve been subjected to sexual harassment and were retaliated against because you reported it, you need to take action to protect your rights and your financial interests. A successful lawsuit could deter the employer from subjecting other workers to similar harassing and retaliatory acts, and it could result in the recovery of compensation that you deserve for the harm that you have suffered.
But how do you build your case?
Before you take legal action against your employer, you’ll want to gather evidence. This may include each of the following:
- Written communications: While emails and text messages may demonstrate that you were subjected to harassment, they can also help show that the adverse employment action taken against you can’t be attributable to poor work performance, as is often the argument made by employers. These communications can also help you show what efforts you made to try to bring the harassing behaviors to a stop and what your employer did in response.
- Witness accounts: In many instances, sexual harassment is witnessed by other workers. And even when it isn’t, there may be other individuals in the workplace who have been subjected to similar harassing actions. So, before you move forward with your claim, you’ll want to talk to these witnesses, write down their statements and secure their contact information in case you need it at a later date.
- Recordings: The employer may have security footage that clearly shows that you were subjected to harassing behavior. If so, you need to get your hands on it. Although that may be tricky to do at first, an attorney can help you use legal avenues to gain access to what you need.
- Indicators of strong performance: As mentioned previously, your employer is going to try to justify its retaliatory actions by saying that your work performance was so poor that action had to be taken. Therefore, you’ll want to find evidence to contradict that assertion. You can look at your prior performance appraisals as well as any written compliments that you’ve received for this evidence.
- Your losses: If you can show that you were sexually harassed and/or wrongfully terminated, you might be able to recover compensation. But the amount of compensation that you recover is going to depend in part on the damages that you’ve suffered. So, be sure to track your lost wages, expenses tied to finding a new job and any non-economic damages that may have befallen you.
Don’t let your employer get away with violating your rights
Sexual harassment can take an enormous toll on your emotional well-being. And being subjected to retaliation can impact your financial stability. You don’t deserve either outcome.
Yet, the sad reality is that you’ll have to live with them if you’re not proactive in protecting yourself. Although that might seem daunting, there are legal professionals out there who stand ready to help you build and litigate your case. If you’re interested in learning more about what an attorney can do for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a legal team for more information.