How Can I Prove Workplace Discrimination?
By Ricotta & Marks, P.C. on March 14th, 2022 in
Thousands of workplace discrimination claims are filed in New York State and the country at large every year. This points to a serious and pervasive issue within employment settings across the United States. Fortunately, there are a variety of federal, state, and city laws that have been put in place to combat this form of illegal behavior in the workplace. In many situations, however, workplace discrimination can be difficult to pinpoint and confront. Many victims are unsure of whether or not they have been subjected to workplace discrimination. So how can we help you prove workplace discrimination?
At Ricotta & Marks, P.C. we have assisted countless victims of employment discrimination in answering the question of “how can I prove workplace discrimination?” After establishing their claims, we advocate on their behalf to secure compensation and prevent further discrimination from occuring. If you are a victim of workplace discrimination, we are here to help. Consider contacting us at 347-321-8895 to speak with an experienced employment discrimination attorney today.
How Can I Prove Workplace Discrimination?
The New York Human Rights Law makes it illegal to discriminate against employees on the basis of their inclusion in a protected group. The protected categories include:
- Sex or gender
- National origin
- Marital status
Discrimination due to any of the aforementioned categories is illegal under state and federal legislation and can have serious legal repercussions. Therefore, if a job applicant is rejected for hire on the basis of gender or if an employee is treated unfavorably due to their race, for example, workplace discrimination is present.
Proving workplace discrimination can be difficult, as evidence of the crime is necessary in order for governing bodies to uphold the law. In discrimination cases, evidence can be either direct or circumstantial:
- Direct evidence: Direct evidence includes all statements, emails, correspondences, or physical evidence that directly relate to the discrimination that has taken place. Many times, this can manifest as a letter from your supervisor stating that you are being let go because they want to hire “younger talent.” Alternatively, direct evidence can be a statement from coworkers or managers regarding workplace discrimination.
- Circumstantial evidence: Circumstantial evidence, on the other hand, suggests that discrimination occurred. It requires that assumptions be made regarding a person’s objectives and biases. This type of evidence tends to be more common in such cases, as employers are generally careful about not committing discrimination within written correspondences.
Obtaining direct evidence is ideal when proving workplace discrimination. Collect any incriminating letters, memos, emails, or statements from the relevant individuals in your place of employment. If direct evidence is not available, circumstantial evidence will suffice. Case law sets forth the test for proving a “prima facie” case of discrimination:
- Are you a member of a protected class?
- Were you qualified for the position that you held or were applying for?
- Did your employer take adverse action against you during the process of hiring, firing, promoting, compensating, or other conditions of employment?
- Were you replaced by a person who is not in your protected class?
Answering yes to these four questions is a strong indicator that workplace discrimination has occurred. When evaluating how to prove workplace discrimination, however, it is advised to seek legal assistance from a qualified employment discrimination lawyer.
What Are The Best Practices For Filing a Workplace Discrimination Claim?
There are several options available to victims of workplace discrimination, namely:
- Filing a complaint with the employer
- Filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Filing a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights
- Filing a lawsuit
It is possible to utilize all of these avenues, but many individuals want to expedite the process and ensure that their workplace is made safe as soon as possible. Furthermore, many victims of workplace discrimination fear retaliation and avoid filing a complaint for this reason.
Regardless, it is imperative to gather all evidence that can be used to prove workplace discrimination. Ensure that all deadlines and time-frames are adhered to while filing a workplace discrimination claim. For instance, the EEOC requires that the instance(s) of discrimination must have occurred with the last 180 days.
Seeking legal assistance from an experienced workplace discrimination lawyer can be valuable in these situations. A skilled lawyer can help you navigate the process of filing a claim and ensure that your legal rights remain protected.
How Ricotta & Marks, P.C. Lawyers Can Help
Understanding how to prove workplace discrimination is the first step to achieving justice. At Ricotta & Marks, we help victims of workplace discrimination navigate the claim process and, if necessary, file a lawsuit in order to achieve fair treatment under the law. We work to remove all the stress and emotional burden from you during this process, allowing you to focus on your well-being. For more information or to speak with an experienced workplace discrimination lawyer, consider contacting Ricotta & Marks, P.C. at 347-321-8895 today.