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How Can I Prove Sexual Harassment With No Witnesses?

Posted on May 15, 2019 | Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem in the workplace. The most recent year data is available, nearly 30% of all charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) dealt with sexual discrimination, including sexual harassment. If someone sexually harassed you in the workplace, you have every right to seek justice and restitution. Even if no one witnessed the incident of harassment, you could have grounds for a case against the perpetrator.

Document Everything

Workers can and do win sexual harassment cases in California without any witnesses. While having a witness contend with what the victim says happened can strengthen a case, succeeding really comes down to the victim following the proper steps and presenting a credible case. To boost your credibility, take all the appropriate actions and document your journey. Documentation should begin the day you experience anything like sexual harassment or discrimination at work.

Keep a journal dedicated to your sexual harassment experience(s). Describe in as much detail what happened. Include who was in the room, where you were, when it happened, and what was said or done. When you start taking other steps to seek justice, such as going to your human resources department, document these as well. Keep a record of everything that happens with your sexual harassment claim, from the very beginning.

Follow the Correct Steps

The EEOC has resources available to help victims who have suffered sexual harassment at work, including a step-by-step guide on what to do after sexual harassment. Follow these suggested steps as closely as possible. Deviating from the standard guidelines could ultimately damage the credibility of your case.

  1. Confront the harasser: You can resolve some sexual harassment situations with a direct conversation with the perpetrator. The person harassing you may not have realized what he or she was doing. If you do not feel comfortable confronting the person directly, or if the harasser does not stop after the confrontation, take the next step.
  2. Learn your company’s anti-harassment policy: Most companies have anti-sexual harassment policies in place. You can find it in your employee handbook or through your HR department. Follow the steps given in the handbook, if any. They may include filing a complaint with HR or talking to a supervisor. Keep in mind the law safeguards you from workplace retaliation for coming forward about sexual harassment.
  3. File a charge with the EEOC: If your employer does not resolve the sexual harassment issue, take your claim to the next level. File an official charge of sexual harassment with the EEOC. You have a deadline for this type of claim, so act quickly.

Taking these steps in order can prove to a court that you did everything you should have in the face of sexual harassment. It shows that you took initiative as soon as the incident occurred, and that your employer failed to remedy the situation. It presents you as a credible witness, even if no one else can corroborate your story.

Speak to a Labor Attorney

Getting outside assistance with your sexual harassment claim can help you succeed even without witnesses. Hiring a Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer to defend your best interests can be the best move you have to make when no one comes forward to testify on your behalf. A local employment lawyer can help you gather other available evidence to build a case against the harasser and/or your employer. While you attend therapy or otherwise focus on your personal health, your lawyer can handle complex paperwork and claim negotiations. Even without witnesses, a good lawyer can maximize your odds of success during a sexual harassment lawsuit.