Illinois Sexual Harassment Victims:Tips For Gathering Evidence Against The Harasser
In Illinois as in other states people who sexually harass are not stupid enough to commit the harassment in front of others. In most instances, the harassment is done one-on-one in a private setting--this is why having an experienced Illinois sexual harassment lawyer involved in your case early is very important. Perhaps it is a telephone call--yes you can subpoena the telephone company and get proof a call was made but the subject on the telephone call will be in dispute. Because the burden of proof lies with the person making the complaint of sexual harassment, the mere fact that a telephone call was made will not help. It may be used as circumstantial evidence and if there are many late night or weekend calls perhaps to show inappropriate behavior. A better method is to send an email to the harasser memorializing the telephone call, or perhaps to let the phone ring and go to voice mail so the harasser will leave a message.
In the case where you memorialize the telephone call in an email the key to emailing the harasser is to not make it look like you are gathering evidence but rather that you are just trying to make sure you fully understand what the harasser said on the phone. For example if the harasser said on the phone " I would like to get together with you at a hotel, I think we would have great chemistry"--you can email stating, your phone call the other night took me by surprise and my brain locked up, do you really want to get together with me at a hotel because you think we will be hot in bed? I want to make sure I was not dreaming when I recalled your telephone call. Wait for the reply and print it out-if he calls, don't answer and let it go to voice mail.
This same technique can be utilized if the harasser speaks to you in private one-on-one. Your email to him/her can state you are shy and not able to speak to him/her face to face and therefore you are emailing.
Remember, memorializing a telephone or face to face conversation is powerful evidence that will be hard to deny and will probably increase a settlement or award for your case.