Sadly, employment discrimination is all too common. In our years of experience, we have seen plenty of hardworking people get mistreated by employers they trusted. If that is happening to you, it’s important to know what you need to prove your case. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Courts won’t just take your word for it.
Before the Employment Discrimination Case, There’s the Complaint
The law doesn’t allow for you to go straight to the Court system and file a case against your employer. Instead, you must file an employment discrimination complaint or claim with the EEOC. You have a limited amount of time to do this. Don’t put it off if you feel you’ve been discriminated against.
Once the EEOC receives the complaint, they will look at it and make a decision. Assuming they don’t decide to pursue a case on their own, you may be able to file a case at that time. We’ll begin here, after you’ve filed the complaint and while you’re preparing your case.
3 Things You Need to Prove Your Employment Discrimination Case
Ideally, you have been working with an employment discrimination attorney all along during the EEOC investigation process, but if not this is where you need to have one and these are some of the forms of proof you’ll need to be prepared with:
The most difficult part of proving an employment discrimination case is establishing that your employer was motivated by a desire to discriminate against you for age, gender, race, religion, nationality, or any other protected class. In an at-will state an employer can fire you for any reason, including the silly fact that she hates your choice of hats, and she is perfectly justified to do so. However, if that “hat” is a religious head covering, you’ve just been discriminated against and that’s illegal.
Proving motive can be as easy as hearing your employer give a discriminatory reason for his or her actions or it may require uncovering information that proves everyone else was treated one way and you another. Which brings us to the next point…
InequalityAn employer cannot treat you differently based on the color of your skin, your sex, your disability, your illness, or your religious needs, for example. If your employer lets all of her Catholic employees go to mass on Ash Wednesday in the middle of the day but prohibits you from attending a religious service on a holy day of your faith, that’s discrimination. It doesn’t matter if she follows your religion. If she treats you in a way that she does not treat others, that is unlawful.
Discriminating “Neutral” Policy
Sometimes employers have what is labeled a neutral policy. It’s not exactly a job requirement but it may be listed as such. For instance, years ago a fire station in a relatively rural area required job candidates to carry 75 pounds of hose on their back and run up six flights of stairs. In the area they served there were no buildings higher than three flights so unless they answered a call in a town over 40 minutes away their firemen would never have to actually perform this job duty. This was found to be a discriminatory hiring practice against women since it wasn’t actually something they would need to do in the line of duty for that fire station.
There’s a lot more to employment discrimination cases than what we presented here and that’s why if you think you’ve been discriminated against you should talk to someone who can help you sort out the details of your experience. Contact the employment attorneys at Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. today.