Sexual harassment in the workplace is a stressful and scary thing to be dealing with, and one that can end up having wide-ranging effects on an individual’s personal and professional life. The following are some tips that a local employment lawyer in Kansas City would want you to know so you can build a more successful sexual harassment case.
Advice from an Employment Lawyer in Kansas City: The Top 5 Mistakes that Can Ruin a Sexual Harassment Case
Not Saving Relevant Information and Evidence About the Harassment
Harassment of any kind is a sensitive and sometimes traumatizing experience, and this is especially the case with sexual harassment. It’s understandable why people would prefer not to keep or have to look at information and communications that remind them of their experience with harassment, but when it pertains to building a sexual harassment case, it is essential that you and your lawyer have all the evidence and information available.
This could include communications with the person doing the harassing, as well as the contact information for potential witnesses, notes you took during that time, etc. Cases live and die on evidence, so preserving everything that helps prove your case is essential.
Waiting Until After You’ve Been Fired to Speak Out
Many individuals who have been victims of sexual harassment at work hesitate to speak out. This is understandable, as it is a deeply uncomfortable position to be in and can result in a lot of stressful attention. This is, however, one of the biggest mistakes people make in relation to successfully filing a sexual harassment case, especially if you wait until after you’ve been fired (most often, by the person doing the harassment) to come forward.
The main reason for this is that it can be seen as suspicious by the jury: if the harassment was so bad while that person was employed, why didn’t they come forward at the time? It may even leave room for the argument to be made that the sexual harassment case is a bitter response to being fired and not the reason for the termination in the first place. Documenting the harassment with written complaints at the moment is thus an important step to making a successful case.
Waiting Too Long to Speak to a Lawyer
There are time limits to every case, and in employment situations, those time limits are not always especially generous, often ranging from six months to a year. Speaking to a lawyer sooner rather than later is a good idea. In general, the best time to speak to a lawyer is as soon as you are sure you want to file a claim, so that you can start building a case together with your attorney.
If you are the victim of sexual harassment at work, reach out to reliable Kansas City sexual harassment lawyers to gain some professional insight into how to proceed with your case. Going to a lawyer early may even open the door for a more confidential, pre-litigation settlement of the dispute!
Not Sharing All Necessary Information with Your Lawyer
During the course of a sexual harassment lawsuit, your lawyer needs to be in the know about everything related to your case, even if you feel the information isn’t necessarily relevant or supportive of your case. Learning about facts that may not necessarily support your case in advance is one thing, and can usually be worked with. Learning about those facts during testimony can leave your lawyer struggling to explain them on the fly.
Posting About the Case on Social Media
It’s a fact of our modern lives that the things you put on the internet are there to stay. If you make a post on social media that you later regret and delete, there’s still no guarantee that someone hasn’t taken a screenshot of it to use later on in the trial, to discredit you or any part of your case. This also, unfortunately, goes for any posts that could be used to suggest flaws in your character that may sway the opinion of the jury or judge around your case.
When it comes to social media use during (and before) an ongoing sexual harassment case, a good rule of thumb is that less is more. Everything you put out there is other there for good, so be smart about what you post.
Though sexual harassment cases are intensely emotional, often traumatizing experiences, following these crucial bits of advice can increase your chances of achieving a positive outcome and help you start back on the road toward healing and recovering from your experiences.