Can You Record Co-Workers to Prove Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment can continue for many months before the victim decides to take action and fight back against it. In fact, to prove a hostile work environment, the behavior has to be continuous and ongoing. Even when an employee has had enough and wants to take action, they need strong evidence to prove their case. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is particularly difficult to prove.
Sexual harassment usually happens behind closed doors, without any witnesses. This can mean legal cases involving the behavior are often an employee’s word against someone else’s. As such, it makes sense that if you have been a victim, you may have considered recording the perpetrator, either with audio or video. Sadly, the law in Florida makes that difficult to do. Below, our Palm Beach Gardens explains further.
You Need Consent to Record in Florida
Florida is a ‘two party consent state’. This means that in order to record someone during a private conversation, you need the consent of all parties involved. Harassers are unlikely to give their permission for you to record them and so if you still do, you may actually face legal consequences. The penalties in Florida for recording someone without their permission is a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison. To avoid these penalties, you should never record someone without their permission.
The Exception to the Law
While you cannot record a private conversation in Florida, you still have recourse if you are being sexually harassed. There is an exception to the wiretapping, or recording, law in Florida. If a conversation or certain actions take place in a public space, or in a location where a person does not have an expectation of privacy, you can record them.
For example, if two people had an argument on one person’s front lawn, you could record them because there is no expectation of privacy. Likewise, if one person harassed another in an office hallway, there is no expectation of privacy and so, they could be recorded in that situation. Likewise, if an employer has installed video surveillance for security reasons, that can also be used in a harassment case. However, in order to comply with the law, employers cannot record in any space where employees have an expectation of privacy.
Other Evidence to Prove Your Case
Even without recordings, it is possible to prove a sexual harassment case. First, make sure to keep detailed notes of the times, dates, and locations of the behavior, along with a description of what happened. If you do have eyewitnesses, their statements can also help strengthen your claim. Lastly, keep any and all communication that can establish that harassment occurred, including text messages, emails, and voicemails.
Talk to Our Sexual Harassment Attorney in Palm Beach Gardens
One of the most important actions to take after being harassed is to speak to a Palm Beach Gardens sexual harassment attorney. At Sconzo Law Office, our seasoned attorney can advise on your case and help you prove your claim so you obtain the maximum damages you are entitled to. Call us now at 561-279-6114 or contact us online to request a consultation and get more information.