Discrimination Proving Discriminatory Employment and Hiring Practices

It is demoralizing to apply for a job having great qualifications only to be denied due to an employer's discriminatory hiring practices. If you suspect that you've been denied an opportunity at work due to your race, religion, gender, age or disability, you may have a case for employment discrimination. But like all lawsuits, you must know how to gather sufficient evidence so that you can successfully prove your case in court.

Example of Discrimination in the Hiring Process

Job Applicant applied for a job within a company which is similar to the position she currently holds. She did not get the job. The answer given to her when asked for the reason was "no particular reason." The person who got the job is a white man with much less experience than she has. She is an African American / Hispanic woman with much higher qualifications and experience. She feels that my gender and race was most probably taken into consideration when the decision was made for the promotion. How can she prove that unlawful discrimination too place so that she can file a lawsuit to make things right?

Requirements for an Employment Discrimination Lawsuit

In order to qualify for the legal protections provided under the U.S. Constitution, the discrimination you may have faced at the workplace must have occurred because you were a member of a "suspect class." This legal term refers to a class of people who have been historically subject to discrimination such as members of a certain religion or race, disabled persons, elderly persons and those of a specific gender (usually women.) There is no legal remedy against a boss who doesn't want to hire you because he or she dislikes your hair color or personality even though you may be more qualified for a position than another employee or job candidate.

No Explanation Required for Denial of Employment

Under the law, an employer does not have to explain the reason for making a decision not to hire someone for a job. The failure to provide an explanation does not prove that discrimination was the reason for the decision. If you feel great disappointment regarding your failure to be promoted or to obtain a position within a company you should try to speak to an appropriate person to understand the possible reasons behind the decision. If you spoke to a recruiter or human resources employee, you may wish to contact them to discuss the matter. If you are already an employee and have not received a satisfactory answer from human resources, you may wish to review your employer's employment handbook and review complaint policies and procedures.

Proving Discrimination in the Hiring Process

When a decision is made not to hire someone, it is usually a challenging task to prove that the reasons in one single instance were wrongful. In most employment discrimination lawsuits, an employment attorney will try to find and establish a pattern of conduct that shows that an employer has been regularly carrying out discriminatory practices. This means that in order to establish your own case, you will probably need to find other people who have had the same experience as yourself and that the discriminatory conduct is a common hiring practice at work.

Your ability to accumulate evidence that help your case will be crucial to an attorney accepting and successfully prosecuting your employment discrimination lawsuit. Evidence would include comments, emails, statistics, witnessed events, letters or memos that your employer may have been carrying out discriminatory practices.

Employment Discrimination Remedies

If complaints within your company don't provide satisfactory results, you can file a complaint with either the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) or the fair employment agency in your state. These agencies may decide to investigate your complaint or they will issue you with a letter saying that you have made a complaint. You will most likely require this letter before you can file a lawsuit and speak to an employment attorney.
Employment & Labor
Discrimination, Employment, Workplace
About author
Michael Wechsler
Michael M. Wechsler is an experienced attorney, founder of TheLaw.com, A. Research Scholar at Columbia Business School and of-counsel to Kaplan, Williams & Graffeo, LLC. He was also an SVP and chief Internet strategist at Zedge.net and legal consultant at Kroll Ontrack, a leading service e-discovery and computer forensics service provider.


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Michael Wechsler
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