If you have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace, you will need to get a claim underway. The first step in getting the process underway is filing a complaint letter.
When you submit your complaint letter to formally notify your employer of the sexual harassment, you will need to provide copies of any supporting evidence and documentation as well.
Be sure to gather all the evidence that you have and make copies of it so those copies can be included with your letter to the human resources (HR) department.
Evidence To Submit With Your Sexual Harassment Letter
If you have suffered workplace sexual harassment, you should gather all the evidence and documentation that you can to support your claim.
There are several kinds of supporting documentation that can be beneficial to your claim, and here is a list of some of the more compelling kinds of evidence that a sexual harassment claim may include:
- Texts from harasser – if your coworker texted you inappropriately, you should include screenshots of the texts that are printed off along with date and timestamps on those messages
- Copy of policies – if your employer has a sexual harassment policy in place and the behavior you were subjected to clearly violates that policy, then you should include a copy of that policy and highlight the area describing the violation that occurred
- Statements from witnesses – if anyone witnessed the harassment, be sure to ask them to provide a written statement and then copy this statement to include it with your letter that you are sending to the HR department
- Photos of offensive images – make copies of any photos of offensive images and include them with the letter and be sure to clearly identify them
Referencing Evidence in the Letter
You should mention all the included evidence in your letter and be sure to indicate what that piece of evidence is showing. As an example, you should indicate if there is a photo of an offensive image that was left on your desk, then indicate it as such and include the date and time of the incident as well as the names of any witnesses to the incident.
In the letter, include dates and times of all incidents and carefully describe what occurred and who was there. You will need to be as specific as possible.
It could be beneficial to list the incidents in a timeline format, so you can show that there was an ongoing pattern. To have a successful claim, you will need to show that it created a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment results from more than a single incident of the behavior.
Be sure to mention each piece of evidence that you included in the letter. You want to be specific and include the details about it.
When the HR representative fully understands the extent of the harassment and understands the evidence, they are going to know how to promptly and properly respond.
You will need to maintain evidence that shows you sent the letter to your employer. Also, keep any correspondence you receive regarding your claim and make note of any conversations that you have with an HR representative or from any meetings that you have regarding the claim.
You will need to keep a copy of the letter if you need to advance your claim to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC will investigate, but they will also need to see that you follow proper protocol and how your employer responded to your complaint. They will need all the evidence as well, so be sure to hang on to the original documents and evidence.
Get Help With Your Complaint Letter
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you should speak with an employment law attorney. A lawyer will help you write your complaint letter and will work to ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the claims process.
There is a limited timeframe for pursuing a sexual harassment claim, so do not wait until it is too late to act.
Some employment law attorneys take cases on a contingency basis while others require a retainer and charge an hourly rate.
Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form to share the details of your sexual harassment claim with an employment law attorney who handles cases in your area. Now is the time to act if sexual harassment in the workplace has caused a hostile work environment.