Sexual harassment in the workplace generally takes one of two forms. Sometimes, it involves co-workers creating a hostile work environment. Other times, sexual harassment involves quid pro quo harassment. One party offers career rewards or threatens career penalties based on the way that someone responds to advances or flirting.
Both types of sexual harassment can be difficult to prove. Oftentimes, the main evidence that someone has available when making allegations of workplace sexual harassment is their own testimony as a witness and victim. People worry that the courts or their employers will not take their word over the statements made by the other party involved in the situation. As a result, they may want to obtain evidence that can help them when filing an internal complaint or a sexual harassment lawsuit before taking action.
Objective evidence is almost always more convincing than testimony from the person claiming they have experienced harassment. The average employee in Rhode Island probably has a smartphone capable of making video and audio recordings. Can a phone help someone capture evidence of workplace sexual harassment?
Yes, recordings can be a useful form of evidence
Every state in the country has its own rules regarding making video or audio recordings of other people. Many states specifically prohibit the secretive recording of others by one individual. However, Rhode Island has more lenient laws about recording. Only one party involved in a conversation or interaction has to give consent to audio and video recording. The person capturing the incident with their phone can consent and then document what they have experienced on the job using their mobile device. They do not need to disclose to the person harassing them that they intend to record.
The audio files or video footage that they collect through those recordings can show exactly what they have experienced. It is possible for someone to gather documentation of abuse by coworkers or unwanted advances that seek to leverage someone’s job to compel them into compliance. Not only could that evidence be useful when trying to compel an employer to improve a situation, but it could also the important if the sexual harassment issue requires litigation.
There are other ways to prove workplace sexual harassment as well that may be more practical depending on one’s circumstances. Gathering adequate evidence is often crucial for those seeking justice while experiencing workplace sexual harassment.