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How Can I Win over Judge’s Employment Trial? Keep 5 Types of Evidence

Do you believe your employer has violated labor laws and you want to file an employment lawsuit. But how do you win an employment lawsuit? Understanding what types of evidence you can use and how to collect evidence can help you get the best results in your case.

Showing violation of labor laws through emails

Emails play an important role in most companies today. Platforms like Outlook and Gmail provide a way for employees and supervisors to communicate and schedule meetings. Emails often appear as evidence in modern employment cases, typically as evidence of labor law violations.

Common types of email evidence in employment cases include:

  • Supervisors proposing sexual harassment or quid pro quo to current or prospective employees via email;

  • Colleagues or supervisors engaging in workplace harassment or discrimination in emails, such as defamation against protected groups;

  • Supervisors admitting to violating safety standards through email;

  • Communication records showing employees working overtime without receiving pay or adequate break time with supervisor's knowledge;

  • Emails proving employer retaliation or wrongful termination of employees. For example, emails praising an employee's work can counter claims of underperformance leading to termination;

  • Supervisors threatening employees to not complain about labor law violations or take legal action;

  • Emails showing an employee reporting labor law violations to HR but complaints remain unresolved.

It is worth noting that email evidence is not necessarily limited to the employee filing the lawsuit and their employer. If other witnesses are willing to testify on behalf of the employee, they can also provide email evidence. This is important because supervisors may admit to violating labor laws against another employee but not the employee filing the lawsuit (for example, admitting to firing an employee as retaliation for reporting workplace harassment to another supervisor).

Can I retain employer emails?

As a general rule of thumb, without taking appropriate legal measures, you should not download or retain emails that contain confidential or proprietary information about the organization (internal email addresses, phone numbers, etc).

If you believe you can obtain email evidence that is helpful for your case, contact your labor and employment law attorney. They can send a preservation letter to your employer, preserving incriminating emails to be used as evidence in your case.

Phone calls and texts from the employer

Typically, employers who are aware of violating labor laws will use informal communication methods (such as texts or phone calls) to admit mistakes or issue orders they know are illegal.

While text messages and call recordings can provide strong evidence, California has strict privacy laws. If you are having confidential conversations with others, you must obtain their consent before recording the conversation or sharing detailed information with a third party. Like with emails, if you suspect your employer may admit to illegal activities through text messages or phone calls, or you want to retain existing texts, you should contact your labor and employment law attorney. This rule of thumb also applies to messages sent through other private platforms such as Twitter, Facebook Messenger, Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Your attorney can help you preserve evidence without violating any privacy laws.

Testimony from other employees

If coworkers or supervisors are willing to testify on your behalf, their testimony can be valuable in helping you ensure the best outcome in your case. Ask trusted colleagues if they are willing to help prove your case and if so, connect them with your labor and employment law attorney.

Formal complaint records

In most cases, employees should file a formal complaint with their organization's HR department regarding violations of labor laws before filing a lawsuit or complaint. Filing a complaint can help the organization address the issue and provide employees with a written record that can be used as evidence if the organization fails to take proper steps to combat illegal behavior.

Photos and videos of labor law violations

In some cases, there may be evidence of illegal behavior in the workplace. For example, cartoons posted outside cubicles mocking protected classes or characteristics can serve as evidence of a hostile work environment. Similarly, notices posted by employers in break rooms, etc., requiring employees to engage in unsafe behavior, avoid discussing wages, work during breaks, or otherwise violate labor laws, can also be strong evidence.

If employees believe surveillance footage may capture illegal behavior, such as employees working during breaks, staying after hours without pay, or displaying harassing behavior, video evidence can also be very valuable.

Like with other types of evidence, your labor and employment law attorney can help you document and preserve evidence for use in your case.

Whatever your situation, MOSAIC Paradigm Law Group PC specializes in providing services in labor and employment law, offering legal advice and support to help you collect and use evidence to win employment lawsuits. Work with our expert team to ensure your rights are protected.