If your employer mistreats you because of your race, gender or other protected characteristic, holding them responsible may depend on documenting your experiences. What evidence might you collect to support your case?
5 ways to support your case
Discrimination can take many different forms. Documenting that harassment and mistreatment can involve various pieces of evidence. This documentation can include:
- Photographs and screen captures— Some harassment involves offensive images displayed in your workplace or in the background of video calls. In these cases, pictures can document these incidents.
- Performance reviews— If your employer unfairly demotes or fires you, positive performance reviews from previous years can help you discredit claims of poor performance.
- Information about the company’s past— Some businesses have an ongoing pattern of discrimination. If this is the case in your workplace, information about past hiring or promotion patterns, demographics impacted by layoffs or previous accusations may support your claim.
- Copies of communications— Businesses use many different forms of communication, including text messages, emails and instant messages. Saving these communications can help document discrimination in those formats. Saving emails can also confirm reports you have made about your experience and how your employer responded.
- A journal or other log— Writing down what happened, when incidents occurred and any people involved can create a record of your experiences. This can be key if incidents of discrimination do not create a paper trail.
These documents, along with experienced legal guidance, can help you push back against discrimination, hold your employer responsible and right the wrongs you have experienced.