If you experience discrimination or harassment in the workplace, you may wonder whether others will believe you. Proving your case may rely on the documentation you collect of your experiences. What documentation might you want to collect to support your claim?
A journal of your experiences
If you experience discrimination in the workplace, one of the first ways to document these experiences is to create a journal. Include information about when and where incidents occur, what happened, what other people were present and direct quotes if you are able to remember them.
Your personnel file, pay records and other official documents
Discrimination can impact more than your emotional health. It can also lead to different work hours, cut pay and even unwarranted negative reviews of your performance. Your employee records can show a sudden change in your performance reviews or unfair disciplinary actions. Your pay records, on the other hand, can illustrate whether your employer cut your hours or decreased your pay.
If others have witnessed the mistreatment you experience, ask them whether they are willing to create a written account of what they saw. These witness statements can support your account.
Copies of documents and communications
Keeping emails, screencaps of messages, letters and other communications can offer significant support to your discrimination claim. Not only can you document any harassment delivered through these messages, but you can also create a clear record of your efforts to resolve the issue. You may also want to send follow-up e-mails after verbal conversations to create a record of any discussions you have.
While discrimination from an employer, supervisor or coworker can impact both your daily life on the job and your future career, it is possible to fight for fair treatment. By documenting your experiences and carefully considering your legal options, you can hold them accountable for their actions and seek compensation for your experiences.