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Please note that this is general information and may not be relevant to your particular matter. This should not be taken as legal advice.
When you are experiencing bullying, harassment or discrimination at work over a period of time, it can be difficult to keep track of exactly what happened and when, especially if your mental health is suffering. It helps to keep timely records of it all, so you don’t forget the details of what happened.
Your notes can be useful later if you wish to complain about the behaviour to your manager or HR person. It will also be good evidence to support a legal claim such as worker’s compensation, a Stop Bullying Order, or a complaint of sexual harassment in the Equal Opportunity Commission or Australian Human Rights Commission.
If you have experienced bullying or harassment during your work day (or night), take a moment to record what happened when you get home, or as soon as you can. You can send yourself an email or a text, or write it down with pen and paper in a diary.
Include as much detail as you can, especially the “who, what, where and when”. Include anyone who witnessed the behaviour, or anyone you spoke to about it. A structure is below to help you record all the important information.
Remember to keep a copy of any emails, texts, photos, or other records, that might be relevant to the harassment too.
Diary entry: 7 June 2022, 1:30am
Date of incident: 6 June 2022
Time: approx. 4pm
Place: In the storeroom at work
Who was there? Me, Josh, Maya and Mark the head chef
What happened? I was getting flour out the storeroom to start dinner prep and Chef came in, he said “just need some salt”. I don’t think he did, this is about the third time in the past couple of weeks he has made an excuse to go into the storeroom when I am in there. He brushed past me to the furthest shelf and put his hand on my waist as he went past, and whispered “it’s cosy in here isn’t it” in a sleazy way in my ear. I walked out and Josh could tell I was upset. He asked what happened but I didn’t want to say anything in case Chef heard. Maya was on shift tonight too, I told her what happened on our break at 9pm.
If you need advice about workplace bullying or sexual harassment, call your union or our Centre.
You might like to check out our other fact sheets on sexual harassment at work:
Young workers and sexual harassment – what are my rights?
Sexual Harassment at Work – Should you make a Workers Compensation claim?