When concerns of harassment arise, it is important to document what is happening as proper documentation is very important to case resolution. Documentation of a complaint should be clear and detailed, and events noted in a chronological order.
The contents of the complaint should answer the following questions:
- When did the incident(s) occur?
- provide date(s) of the incident(s)
- provide time(s) of occurrence including duration
- Where did the incident(s) occur?
- location of the incident(s) (e.g., office, cafeteria, parking lot, social function)
- medium of communication of harassment: verbal, non-verbal (e.g., gestures and physical contact), written (including e-mail), etc.
- What exactly happened during the incident(s)?
- provide details of the incident(s): specify the actions taken by the harasser (e.g., sent e-mail or a letter, touched complainant, made harassing comments, etc.)
- Were there any witnesses?
- who, if anyone, saw the harasser's actions
- is anyone else aware of the incident(s) taking place
- Did the complainant tell anyone about the incident(s)?
- who else was told about the incident(s) (e.g., supervisor, co-worker, human resources, counselor, friend, etc.)
- What attempts, if any, have been made to remedy the situation?
- have there been any steps taken to stop the harassment
- if action has been taken, specify the steps taken to rectify the situation (e.g., complainant told the harasser that his/her actions were unacceptable, complainant approached personnel about the situation, warning was issued to the harasser, etc.)
- How did the complainant feel when the incident took place?
- specify how the harasser's actions emotionally affected the complainant (e.g., angry, fearful, feelings of inferiority, etc.)