Employment law cases invariably rely on who said what when. Why? Because proving unlawful mistreatment at work or discharge usually is a matter of showing intent and causation. This means showing that the supervisor had retaliatory or discriminatory thoughts in mind about an employee when he or she caused or brought about a negative action against the employee. In an employment case for wrongful termination or discrimination complaint, it is helpful to paint that picture, of a supervisor’s retaliatory and discriminatory mind set and causation, by explaining to a jury the precise conversation that the supervisor had with the employee immediately before the negative action taken. The picture becomes much clearer if the employee has taken “contemporaneous notes.” It is easier for a jury to believe the notes as evidence of such conversations because they are considered credible.
“Contemporaneous notes” are notes taken by an employee, immediately as the conversation with the supervisor is happening or immediately after the conversation happened. Contemporaneous notes capturing a supervisor conversation may be admitted into evidence for the jury’s consideration despite the hearsay rule, which otherwise excludes out-of-court statements (from being considered for their content). Thus, if an employee takes notes contemporaneously as to a crucial conversation preceding termination, the employee can later give the jury “front row seats” to a very important event in his or her case. So, write it down, right away!
If you have questions about wrongful termination or any other New Hampshire employment-related matter, please contact one of our employment attorneys for a free consultation at (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.