Posted On: October 3, 2011

Hostile Work Environments Created During Investigations

Many times in the workplace an employee will go to human resources and file a sexual harassment complaint. As part of the investigation, human resources will contact other employees and try to determine what is going on. But often human resources has an agenda. They don't want to find out what is really going on, they want to make the whole thing go away. Employees who cooperate with the investigation may be subjected to a hostile work environment by telling the truth. This happens when the employee suddenly finds herself being targeted by the company.

Any employee who cooperates in a truthful manner with management during an investigation is protected from retaliation or any negative job action. It is very important for employees to understand their rights in this regard. Remember the company is always looking out for itself, they aren't necessarily looking out for your best interests.

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Posted On: October 2, 2011

Text Messages As Evidence In Sexual Harassment Lawsuits

The explosion in the use of text messages has been good for plaintiff's in sexual harassment lawsuits for a number of reasons. First, the text message will show the numbers sent from and sent to. For the most part this leaves it clear that the message was sent by a certain person's phone. And it is an uphill battle to claim your phone sent the message but you did not. Second, the words written will speak for themselves. For example, it will be hard for a supervisor to explain why he was texting you dirty messages at eleven o'clock at night. I find text messages make it easy to settle sexual harassment lawsuits because the other side can see the evidence and they realize they are in a bad position.

It is very important that you save the text messages on your phone or print them out. Don't think that you can delete them and then have the cellular telephone company retrieve them. They can't and won't. All they can do is show a text was sent at a certain time and to what number the text message was sent or received. If you do happen to delete the text message you can still retrieve them with the proper software. My Chicago office handles these types of cases often. It is very important to seek an experienced employment lawyer early in the process to help you with your sexual harassment case. Many times an employee is the victim of retaliation when she reports sexual harassment to management. Remember, the company has people looking out for their best interest--do you?

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