You can immediately gather key evidence to secure adequate facts to prove your case.

You immediately should consider the following steps you can take to develop facts to help prove your case.  There are key evidentiary facts that are important in any employment case.  As a plaintiff, you are required to produce facts that will tend to prove theories of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, defamation, safety complaints, and related legal theories.  You are in the best position to begin securing these facts immediately, as they are now fresh in your mind and supportive witnesses are more likely to help.  As time passes by, your memory begins to fade, and supportive witnesses, many times, become less willing or able to help.  So, right now, do the following:

1. Make a list of all witnesses. Ask people if they heard or saw an event, such as discriminatory comments,  or statements indicative of retaliation or harassment, or assault, battery, unlawful touching. Obtain witness contact information, home, cell phones, e-mail addresses. This will be used later to obtain written statements before their memories fade or they decide they “don’t recall.”  You may want to approach favorable witnesses now [and feel free to ask us how best to do this], and obtain taped statements, or written statements, just reminding them that all you want is the truth regarding what they saw or heard.  Do not tape ANYONE without their knowledge as that very likely will violate State law. 

1A.  Timeline:  It is crucial that you develop a timeline.  List all significant events, facts, statements, written communications, in chronological order.   The order of events is often times crucial in showing what happened, and what events caused subsequent events.   The key is to make your timeline brief, in outline form, so we can clearly see what happened in what order.   Example:

Aug ’01 – Hired by ABC Co. as Operations Supervisor

Aug ’02 – Evaluation – excellent

Dec ’02 -  Promoted to Office Manager

Dec ’03 – Eval. – excellent

Dec ’04 – Eval. – excellent

Dec ’05 – Eval. – excellent

Dec ’06 – Eval. – excellent

July ’07 – Company sold, meet w new CEO

Dec ’07 – Eval – excellent

March ’08 – Complain about safety violations

April ’08 – Written up for failure to perform

July ’08 – Put on Performance Improvement Plan

October ’08 – terminated for poor performance

2. Obtain copies of all documents relevant to your employment. Make copies of: e-mails, job reviews, contracts, employment agreements, time cards, hours worked, etc... There may be a key e-mail that identifies a salary increase you have received, or documents sexual harassment discrimination, retaliation, hostile work environment. Sometimes, documents have a way of “disappearing”, so if you are still at work, copy them.  Saving or copying documents may ultimately help to strengthen your case.  But, you should consult with us as some documents can be deemed confidential or privileged.

3. Record dates and time of events. The best time to record something in writing is when it happened. Write down exactly what was said or what happened. Keep a log of events with times places, and people involved.  Buy a calendar with space on each page to write notes, and keep current notes on all events, or if you are no longer at work, go back over your records and reconstruct what happened, what was said, etc.

4. If you have been harassed or discriminated against, contact HR. If your company has in place an anti-sexual harassment policy or discrimination policy, in most instances you are required to report unlawful harassment or discrimination. This is often the classic “double edged sword” because the employee feels that if they report harassment by a supervisor or top salesman in the organization, the company will retaliate and fire them, or make them quit. In order to determine the fine points, you will need a lawyer to help you sort out things.

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Evidence You can organize that will Help your case

Gather Evidence

  1. -Make a list of witnesses

  2. -Obtain copies of documents

  3. -Record dates and time

  4. -Contact HR