What Does It Take To Win An Employment Discrimination Case?

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on race, color, sex, or national origin. Unfortunately, people are refused employment, denied promotions, and even fired because of prejudicial reasons all the time. If you feel you were the victim of discrimination, here's what you need to know about winning a personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator.

The Challenge of Proving Discrimination

Discrimination lawsuits are notoriously difficult to win because you have to prove the employer acted with biased or prejudicial intent when taking the specified action (or failing to take a certain action). For instance, you have to show the reason you didn't get a job promotion was because of your protected status (e.g. gender or race) rather than your qualifications.

However, it's a well-known fact that discriminating against people can lead to an employer being sued for millions of dollars. Therefore, it's highly unlikely the perpetrator will come out and directly state that he or she acted against you because of your protected status. Instead, you'll have to prove your case using circumstantial evidence showing the person's motivation for denying you an employment opportunity or firing you was discriminatory in nature.

Using Circumstantial Evidence to Win Your Case

The type of circumstantial evidence you'll need to present in your case to win it will depend on the discriminatory act you experienced. For example, if you believe you were bypassed for a promotion because of your gender, you'll need to show:

  • You were qualified for the position but didn't receive the promotion
  • The promotion was given to someone not in your protected class or the employer hired an outsider
  • Discriminatory factors besides the person's qualifications lead to the individual being given the job

You can show you were qualified for the position by obtaining a job description of the position in question and showing how your skills and experience matches up. You could also present performance evaluations showing the company was satisfied with your work. Proving other factors were involved in the promotion of the other person may entail showing the individual wasn't as qualified as you were for the position or presenting derogatory statements your employer may have made about people in your protected class.

The goal is to present enough compelling evidence to call the company's employment practices into question. If you can show that the company's stated reason for bypassing you for the position or firing you is untrue, then it may be easier to show some type of bias was involved in the employer's decision making.

Litigating an employment discrimination case is very challenging. To mount an effective offense, you should work with a personal injury attorney who has experience in this area.