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What Sexual Harassment Victims Need to Tell Their Lawyers

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2018 | Sexual Harassment

The “me too” movement has given many victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault the courage to report it and to seek legal help.  Usually people do not know what information a lawyer needs to determine whether they have a legal claim. If you are considering contacting a lawyer about your potential sexual harassment or sexual assault claim, below are some of the types of information that you should be prepared to provide your attorney or their office when contacting them about possibly representing you:

(1) The names of the parties: Your name; your employer’s name, a general description of the business and the number of employees; and the name(s) of any persons accused of harassment/assault.  This information is needed to confirm there is no conflict of interests.  

(2) A general description of the harassment/assault.  When describing events, think of the 5 W’s — Who, What, Where, When and Witnesses.  Try to provide a description that answers the 5 W’s:

Who harassed you?  Be sure to include the harasser’s position at the company and the harasser’s position relative to you.  

What actions did they take that were harassing?  It is important to provide as much information about the actions as possible because in order to be legally actionable, harassment must be either “severe” or “pervasive.”  This means the conduct must either be very, very serious (such as a sexual assault, etc.) or that the conduct happened often.

For each fo the actions, Where did it occur?  

For each of the actions, When did it occur?  Be sure to state when each of the actions occurred and the date of the last act of the harasser’s continuing course of harassment.

For each of the actions, what persons were in a position to see or hear the conduct – these are possible Witnesses Former employees can be contacted by your lawyer.  Current employees can also be contacted depending on their position at the company and role in the harassment.

If the actions are not obviously sexually motivated, you will also want to explain Why the conduct was sexually harassing.  For example, if the harasser’s conduct was not overtly sexual, but instead was mean, discriminatory or retaliatory, you will want to explain why you believe the conduct was motivated by your sex — e.g., the harasser only treated women this way, the harasser treated you in a mean and aggressive way after you rebuffed the sexual advances, etc.

(3) If you have documents, such as emails, text messages, FaceBook messages, photographs, drawings, or any thing else that demonstrates the harassing conduct, or your efforts to stop the harassing conduct, be sure to provide that to your attorney.

This is just a start.  

For further information about sexual harassment claims and sexual harassment attorneys go to

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