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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Evidence in Sexual Harassment Cases

Long Island Sexual Harassment Attorneys

Sexual harassment, as it is gender based, is categorized as a form of gender discrimination. Gender discrimination runs in direct contradiction to those rights protected by Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Additionally, New York State’s Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law both prohibit sexual harassment. Regardless of these laws, sexual harassment does still happen. It can happen inside or outside of the workplace. The perpetrator can be a supervisor, a co-worker, a client, or some other non-employee. The harassment may have begun as inappropriate remarks or unwelcome sexual advances. No matter what the situation, sexual harassment is illegal. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, the sexual harassment attorneys at Tand & Associates are here to make sure your legal rights are enforced.

What Kind of Evidence Can Be Used in A Sexual Harassment Case?

When you are bringing a sexual harassment claim, you, as the complainant, must be able to furnish evidence regarding the harassment. This evidence must comply evidentiary rules and state law. Some things may be prohibited from being entered in as evidence due to things such as the hearsay rule which places restrictions on some out of court statements being produced as evidence.

Evidence in a sexual harassment claim may come in several different forms, including:

  • Written communications: Written communications from your harasser can be used to substantiate your harassment claim. You may have received harassing emails, text messages or social media communications. The written communication need not be electronic. A handwritten message could also be evidence of harassment. You do, however, need to be able to authenticate the writings. This means that you must be able to prove that the communications were actually from the harasser.
  • Eyewitness testimony: If there was another person who witnesses the harassment, he or she can testify as to what they saw. This witness will be able to relay their account of events, but will be subject to cross-examination. During cross examination, their credibility or the accuracy of how they reported the harassing events may be called into question.
  • Recorded conversations: Audio recordings of conversations where sexual harassment occurred may be admissible evidence. Both federal and New York State law follows the one-party consent rule for the permissibility of recording conversations. Under the one-party consent rule, only one person on the recorded conversation needs to consent to the recording in order for it to be allowable.

You are legally entitled to work in an environment free from sexual harassment.

Under federal, state, and local law, you are entitled to be free from employment related sexual harassment. Being the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace can be extremely stressful as you may be in fear of some form of retaliation if you speak up. The law protects you from retaliation, but it can still be intimidating to consider voicing your concerns. At Tand & Associates, we are here to go over the legal protections in place for you and make you feel as comfortable as possible should you choose to proceed with bringing a sexual harassment claim.

 


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