Sexual Harassment and Text Messages
With the rise in technology and the use of cellular telephones equipted with keypads, there has been a rise in the use of text messages by employees. Because of this common form of communications, there is a potential abundance of evidence in sexual harassment cases. This new evidence is in the form of the text message. There are several issues with text messages that one should consider if they are to be utilized as evidence in a sexual harassment lawsuit. First, many people have the mistaken belief that if they delete the text message the cellular phone company can still retrieve the contents of the message from their computers--wrong. Although a deleted message will still be stored in the memory on the phone itself for a period of time, the cellular phone company will only have a record that there was a text sent and received, but not what the message said. How long the deleted message stays on the phone will depend on the model of the phone, the memory storage capability of the phone or more precisely the storage card of the phone and how much data is transmitted and received by that phone.
The second issue with text messages is how do you get the message off the phone so that it may be utilized as evidence. Some model phones will allow you to download the messages and then print them out. For models that don't have this capability, you can take a picture of the message to reveal the contents and phone number which sent the message. Another and better option is to forward the text message to your email account for storage and printing. Many cell phone users are not aware of this option but it should be considered. Discrimination lawsuits are on the rise and it is imperative that people become aware of the type of evidence they have at their disposal to help prove their case.