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How can you document sexual harassment at work?


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Someone at your Colorado office is sexually harassing you. The situation has reached a boiling point. You have gotten extremely tired of being the target of unwelcome touching, lewd comments, vulgar jokes, pranks and propositions at work. Enough is enough, you tell yourself. It’s time to report these offenses to management and human resources.

But how do you back up your claim of sexual harassment so it’s not merely your word against that of your harasser?

You need to think logically and carefully about your strategy. Your harasser may attempt to shrug off your accusations by saying the actions you believe are clearly inappropriate and unlawful were simply innocent “kidding around” that was intended to be harmless. 

The first thing you can try to halt the harassment permanently is to ask your harasser to stop. Say to the person in language that cannot be misinterpreted that their over-the-line conduct towards you must end without delay. If nothing changes, there are other avenues you can explore.

Steps you can take to substantiate your claim

To make your claim of sexual harassment at work even stronger, it helps (yet is not mandatory) to have adequate documentation. Experts offer some good suggestions on what you should include.

  • Don’t rely on your memory alone to keep track of every incident. Write down where each one happened, the date, what took place and who might have overheard or seen what transpired.
  • Give all the basic information you can about the alleged harasser, such as their name and title.
  • Mention anyone else in your organization who is also enduring this type of harassment.
  • Describe how the harassment has altered your ability to carry out your duties.

What else can you do?

If you have discussed this with appropriate individuals in your company and the problem has still not been addressed to your satisfaction, you can learn more about what kinds of legal recourse are available to you.

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