How Do You Prove Discrimination In Court?

March 2, 2023

Employment discrimination takes many forms, and all of them are illegal. From being treated differently for sexual orientation to racial discrimination and inequality based on religion or national origin, the law protects employees against wrongful termination and discrimination in the workplace. Thankfully, anti-discrimination law makes it illegal to discriminate, protecting you from discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, age, or personal trait such as a disability.

What is workplace discrimination?

Workplace discrimination is a negative employment action against someone because he or she is in a protected class under an anti-discrimination law. Negative employment actions usually consists of:

  • a termination or discharge
  • demotions
  • refusing to promote someone
  • refusing particular workplace benefits
  • pushing an employee to quit
  • harassment
  • reducing an employee’s pay or hours

What Different Discrimination Claims You Can File?

There are three different grievances related to workplace discrimination and the employment law you can file depending on the type of discrimination you have suffered.

  • Discriminatory Treatment– In this situation, your supervisor or manager treated you unequally compared to others due to your age, gender, race, religion, sex, disability, and so on.
  • Disparate Impact– In this situation, it is not the employer’s discriminatory intent that places you in a negative situation. It is the company’s policy. Disparate impact happens when a supposedly neutral working policy has an adverse effect on some protected class members.
  • Workplace Retaliation– You can file a retaliation claim if your manager or supervisor tries to reprimand you for participating in legal processes to defend your legal rights or the company’s interests. This discriminatory behavior might include demotion, pay reduction, firing, and so on.

Evidence You Can Submit To Prove Workplace Discrimination

There are two kinds of evidence you can submit to prove you have been a victim of employment discrimination. Direct evidence includes a statement or a testimony of a person that has witnessed that your manager treated you unequally. Direct evidence is the most reliable, but also, most challenging to get since managers and supervisors will not use obvious statements to discuss their discriminatory choices.

Circumstantial evidence of discrimination may come in the form of documents or statistical data that clearly proves your manager has discriminated against you in favor of some other employee. For this reason, you have to collect a substantial amount of pertinent documents like the company’s policies and procedures, letters, notes, or recordings you can utilize to strengthen your claim.

Before you begin building your case on circumstantial evidence, you need to make a prima facia case of discrimination. This means you need to prove to the court or the EEOC that you belong to a protected class. You will do this by answering four crucial questions:

  • Are you a member of a protected class?
  • Were you qualified for your position?
  • Did your manager take any harmful actions towards you during any aspect of employment?
  • Have you been replaced by another employee that is also a member of a protected class?

Once you have answered these questions, you have made an eligible presumption of discrimination before the court. This means that you might have been mistreated due to your age, sex, gender, race, religion, or disability and not for other non-discriminatory factors.

There are many legal acts that protect workers from discrimination, starting from the Civil Rights Act’s title vii that bans any type of discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, or a variety of defined anti-discrimination acts. Nevertheless, workplace discrimination is still widespread, and it is a demanding task to prove discrimination claims before the EEOC or the court.

For this reason, you should rely on the support of legal professionals specialized in employment discrimination cases. A racial discrimination attorney will help you gather solid evidence to prove your discrimination claim. In addition, they will help you navigate complicated legal procedures to get the justice you deserve.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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