Some crimes are easy to prove, such as who is at fault in a recent car accident, but there are also types of crimes that are more difficult for people to prove. One of these is discrimination in the workplace. Discrimination in the workplace is against the law; however, if you want to win a case of discrimination, you must prove that it happened.
What Is Discrimination in the Workplace?
Discrimination occurs when an employer treats you differently based strictly on some type of demographic feature you possess. This includes religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, race and color.
The law strictly prohibits any type of discrimination, yet it still occurs often. Here are some examples of ways it still occurs in the workplace:
- Being demoted for a demographic reason, such as your age, skin color or race
- Earning a lower salary in your office than men, simply because you are a woman
- Getting fired for a religious belief
- Listening to racial remarks because you are a different color than most employees
These are just a few examples of how discrimination occurs in the workplace; however, discrimination can happen in many other ways too. If you feel discriminated against in any way, you should talk to a lawyer to find out how to proceed.
What Elements Do You Need to Win a Discrimination Case?
To win a case of discrimination, you must have proof your workplace discriminated against you. Proof of this is the number one element needed to win a case like this, and the best type of proof is direct evidence.
Direct evidence is anything that documents, illustrates or shows that your employer discriminated against you. This can include written statements or tape-recorded conversations. If you have any type of tangible proof, you will have a better chance of winning your case.
You can also prove discrimination through circumstantial evidence, but it is harder to win a case if you only have circumstantial evidence and no direct evidence. Circumstantial evidence involves facts that simply do not add up.
For example, if your boss gave your co-worker a raise and not you, this raise would not make sense if your co-worker was a bad worker who rarely showed up on time. If you work hard, show up every day on time and have more qualifications for the job, why didn't the boss give you the promotion?
Know that collecting direct evidence is often challenging in discrimination cases. Most employers are well aware of the laws relating to discrimination, and people can be good at hiding facts in a situation.
What Are Some Strategies Lawyers Use With These Types of Cases?
If you decide to meet with a lawyer about this, he or she may come up with a strategy to use to prove your case. To do this, your lawyer might look into your personnel file and read the company handbook. By taking these steps, your lawyer could find evidence to prove your employer discriminated against you.
In addition, your lawyer might talk to other workers to find out more about the situation. During this, he or she might even find others that your employer also discriminated against. If this is the case, you could end up with a class-action lawsuit against your employer for discrimination.
If you believe you have a strong case and would like to talk to a lawyer about proving that your employer discriminated against you, contact The Law Office of Fernando Hidalgo. We specialize in several branches of law, including employment law, and we can give you advice as to how you should proceed with your case.