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Discrimination at work – evidence in a harassment claim

If you’re being bullied at work because of who you are, it could be harassment. Harassment includes things like abusive language, offensive emails or tweets, physical gestures and jokes.

Harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. If you’ve been harassed, you may be able to make a discrimination claim in the employment tribunal.

This page explains about useful evidence if you want to make a harassment claim.

Challenging harassment

You can challenge harassment at work under the Equality Act if it’s because of your:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation.

The Equality Act calls these things protected characteristics.

Useful evidence

The following things are useful evidence in a harassment claim:

  • a list of all the incidents you’ve experienced including the names of the people involved if known
  • details of any abusive language directed at you
  • information on other workers who have also experienced similar treatment and whether they share your protected characteristic
  • information on things you’ve done in response to your treatment - for example, if you’ve complained to someone. You should include the dates and names of the people you’ve complained about or to.
  • explain how the treatment made you feel and how it’s impacted on your work - for example, if you’ve suffered from stress or anxiety or gone off sick
  • information about any medical treatment you’ve received as a result of the incidents - this could be for physical or mental injuries
  • evidence of the behaviour from someone else like the police, CCTV or video footage, emergency service records
  • documentation and letters you’ve received or sent in relation to the incidents
  • any texts or social networking messages you’ve received or sent.  

Next steps

Other useful information

Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS)

If you have experienced discrimination, you can get help from the EASS discrimination helpline.

Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)

You can find useful information about discrimination on the EHRC website.

Acas

Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) provides free and impartial information and advice on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law.

To talk to an adviser about your employment problem, call the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100.

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