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Four tips for building a sexual harassment lawsuit

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Sexual Harassment

As an employee, you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect at your place of work. This, in turn, should foster a protective work environment that keeps your physical, emotional, and psychological well-being safe, thereby allowing you to enjoy employment opportunities on equal footing as your co-workers. Yet, in far too many instances, employers allow harmful behaviors to pervade the workplace, causing harm to their employees. This is the case with sexual harassment.

And if you’ve been sexually harassed, there’s a good chance that you’ve suffered significant damages. You might’ve missed promotional opportunities, been retaliated against for reporting the harassment, and suffered emotional and reputational turmoil over the experience. That’s undeserved and unacceptable, which is why now is the time to fight for accountability and the compensation you deserve. But where do you even start?

Thinking about building a sexual harassment lawsuit in the grand scheme of everything can feel overwhelming. But it’s helpful to break it down into smaller, more attainable pieces. Here are some steps that you can take now to incrementally build your case and better position yourself for a positive outcome:

  • Document the harassment: It might take a while for you to have the opportunity to tell your story to a judge and jury. You don’t want the details of your sexual harassment to be forgotten. Instead, you want sharp images to paint a clear and persuasive picture. To assist you in developing those images, notate each harassing event, indicating the date, time, and circumstances of the behavior targeted at you. Even if you’re unsure of whether it truly constitutes harassment, write it down and let your attorney make that decision for you.
  • Report the behavior: Even if you think that your employer isn’t going to help stop harassing behavior, you still need to report it. If you don’t, then it’s going to be hard for you to argue that your employer knew of the sexual harassment yet failed to stop it. It’ll also be harder for you to show that retaliatory action was based on your reporting of the harassment.
  • Talk to your co-workers: While you hope that your account of harassing events will be taken as truth, it’s helpful to have other accounts of sexual harassment to back up your claim. By talking to your co-workers, you might find that they’ve observed more than you thought. They might also be able to support that you’re a good worker if your employer tries to attack your credibility on that front.
  • Gather your performance records: When your employer retaliates because you reported sexual harassment, they’re going to try to justify their actions based on your job performance, labeling you as someone who deserved the employment action taken against you. You can fight back against this assertion, though, if you have performance appraisals, emails, and witness testimony showing that you were a good worker.

Build the case you need

There’s a lot that goes into building a successful sexual harassment case. You can’t simply improvise your arguments and expect to achieve the outcome you want. So, even though you may be nervous about acting against your employer, now is the time to set things in motion to build your case and advocate for your interests. By putting in the work early on and being as thorough as possible, you can increase your chances of winning your case and successfully moving past this difficult chapter in your life.