San Diego Discrimination Attorney
If you believe that you are the victim of workplace discrimination or harassment you will need the services of a Discrimination Lawyer to help build your case. To that end, after you make an appointment with me, this is some of the documentation that you should bring or begin to collect for me so we can get your case thoroughly prepared:
1 – A Written Journal of Your Experience:
Lets face it, memories fail and deteriorate over time. Other employees and coworkers can leave a company and be hard to locate. Keeping a written journal is almost mandatory. Such a journal where you should record times and dates of specific kinds of actions, comments, or events will help you to preserve your memory and document the exact times and dates of specific instances of unacceptable behavior to you or to you and other victims of discrimination or harassment.
2 – Evidence of Discrimination or Harassment:
If you have copies of actual documents (notes, “stickys,” emails, texts, letters, offensive pictures, etc.) that establish the atmosphere of discrimination or harassment, it’s important to make copies and bring them with you to your initial or subsequent meeting with me. If these documents, pictures, postings, calendars, books, magazines, are in your workplace clearly visible but you are unable to get copies of them – taking a clear picture of them would be useful. The better the picture the stronger our case. If you get a close up, also get a “wide shot” to document where such offensive or harassing documents are in relation to the work environment. Today’s common iPhones often have a respectably-capable camera – so capable that many police officers use their camera phones to collect field evidence.
3 – Medical & Mental Health Records:
Workplace discrimination and harassment can and often DOES take a physical and mental toll on an individual. If you have developed high blood pressure, stress, anxiety, depression, or other conditions as a result of your experience at work, it is vitally important to document it both in your written journal and through actual medical records, reports and receipts. If a direct correlation can be established between your current health condition and the workplace discrimination or harassment you suffered, you are often entitled to additional damages for pain and suffering as well.
4 – Complaints:
Employees often fail to complain about harassment, discrimination, or retaliation until it is too late. If you are an employee who is experiencing illegal harassment, discrimination, or retaliation you should look through your employee handbook and see how to complain about it. The complaint should say the basis for the harassment, discrimination or retaliation (i.e. age, gender, race, religion, disability, whistleblower, etc.) and why you believe that is the basis (i.e. supervisor said you were too slow or costing too much money, supervisor wrote you up after requesting accommodation, etc.). You should complain in writing and keep a copy of the complaint for yourself. Often employees verbally complain to supervisors who then discipline them. The employees claim the discipline was in retaliation for the complaints. But, the employees don’t have proof of the complaints. That makes it easier for employers to argue that subsequent employee complaints were made in retaliation for the discipline. Don’t wait until it is too late. Make sure you complain about harassment, discrimination or retaliation as it happens.
5 – Witnesses List:
It is also important to maintain a list of people who may have been witness to any workplace discrimination or harassment directed towards you. Witnesses are very helpful for bolstering a case.
6 – Performance Reviews:
An examination of your performance reviews is important to establish retaliatory or discriminatory behavior on the part of your employer. If you have consistently received positive reviews until or immediately after speaking up about discrimination or harassment, your attorney should be able to expose important inconsistencies that are often indicative of discrimination and retaliation.
7 – Pay Checks / Pay Stubs:
If you have missed days at work where normally you would have been there but for the direct result of harassment or discrimination, we need to document that lost time and pay. If you were denied a promotion that you would have otherwise earned but for discrimination or retaliation, you may be able to recover the difference in wages involved if your attorney can prove discrimination was the reason why you were denied that job promotion.
8 – Personnel File:
Your employment record is an important document and will need to be evaluated to determine if you’ve had any warnings or disciplinary actions taken against you in the past. As mentioned, above, I would also like to see your employee reviews in order to get a better idea of how your immediate supervisor had evaluated your job performance in the past. If you are unable to obtain a copy of your personnel file, I can request one from your employer on your behalf.
9 – Employee Handbook:
Depending upon the size of your employer, you may or may not have an employee handbook available. If one is available you should secure a copy and bring it for my review. Larger companies will publish company policies, information about pay, benefits, and procedures for bringing grievances. Moreover, most will state clearly that different kinds of discrimination or harassment will not be tolerated by employees including management. The courts do not view employee handbooks as contracts between you and the company but they will tend to hold companies accountable for violations of their own stated policies which can only bolster our case.
Experience Counts and the experienced and hard working team at the Law Offices of John F. McCarthy will put their experience to work for you!
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