How to Prove Discrimination in the Workplace
Proving that you have experienced discrimination in the workplace requires you to show all of the following:
- You belong to a group, or “class,” of people that federal or state laws protect from discrimination;
- Your employer mistreated you based on the characteristics that make you a member of a protected class; and
- The mistreatment resulted in an adverse employment action.
As Columbus, Ohio-based lawyers for discrimination victims, we understand that many victims of workplace discrimination will have questions about each item on this list. While we provide brief explanations of the three components of a workplace discrimination case below, we welcome more in-depth questions.
If you are experiencing discrimination as an employee or job applicant, or even if you witness others being discriminated against, give The Friedmann Firm a call at 614.610.9755. We offer free, confidential consultation on all aspects of employee rights and employment law, and we also schedule appointments online through this content form.
Who Is Protected From Workplace Discrimination?
No one can be discriminated against at work or while applying for a job because of his or her
- Race or skin color,
- National origin or ethnicity,
- Sex or gender,
- Sexual orientation,
- Age (above 40),
- Military service, or
- Genetic information.
What Counts as Evidence of Discrimination?
Discriminatory behavior can take many form, ranging from insults and offensive jokes to pressure to conform to certain majority practices such as prayers during lunch. Sex-based discrimination can include displaying pornographic images, while age discrimination can show up in job postings that specify “recent graduates” or “youthful energy.” Refusing to make reasonable accommodations for disabled job applicants and employees can also constitute discrimination.
If you are experiencing discrimination, document all instances of mistreatment. Take notes on conversations and comments intended to bully or harm, save emails related to discriminatory policies or practices, and speak with a knowledgeable Columbus lawyer for discrimination victims about your rights to take pictures and make recordings, as well as how to create such records without incurring additional mistreatment.
Be aware, too, that severe and pervasive discrimination creates a hostile work environment. To be considered severe and pervasive, the discriminatory behavior must create a recognizable harm or constitute a legitimate threat, and it must happen more than once.
What Does ‘Adverse Employment Action’ Mean?
Discrimination in hiring and employment practices can result in
- Verbal, physical, or emotional/mental abuse;
- Refusal to interview or select a job applicant;
- Paying different amounts to an employee in a protected class less than other employees who do the same job;
- Exclusion from benefits given to other employees who do the same job;
- Assignment to dirty, dangerous, or degrading tasks;
- Reductions in rank or pay, often for reasons that do not stand up to an investigation;
- Denial of career opportunities like training;
- Denial of pay raises and promotions; and
Courts also sometimes recognize constructive discharge as an adverse job action. A constructive discharge occurs when mistreatment makes keeping a job or performing all required tasks so unbearable that the victim quits. These situations are rare so please speak with a Columbus wrongful termination lawyer before you resign due to what you believe is a hostile work environment. Hostile work environments MUST be based on a protected class, like race, religion, sex, pregnancy, etc.
Rachel and Dominick were incredibly helpful throughout the entire process. They got back to me quickly, whenever I had questions, which helped me stay calm during a very stressful time. Rachel was confident in her abilities and knowledge of the labor laws, and she was able to secure a settlement for me. If you ever find yourself in a situation that requires you take action against an employer, I would highly recommend the Friedman Firm. There's no one I would recommend more to be in your corner.
If you are in need of an employment attorney, this is your sign to talk to Rachel and Jamie. Amazing!! They handled my case like the true professionals they are! They stuck to a strategy, even when it seemed like it wasn’t going our way and BAM! We get the outcome we wanted. I couldn’t be happier and I will always return to them if I EVER have an employment issue again. Thank you so much for helping me and my family!
Dedicated! Thorough! Detailed! Professional! Personable! I can keep going with the many qualities Pete and his team have. I highly recommend him!!! You won't be disappointed.
I needed an employment lawyer to work through a non compete. Pete at The Friedmann Firm was listed as one of the three best rated employment lawyers on a local website. I called him in the morning and later that night he was on the case and provided sound council through a very tense negotiation. Don’t take a chance with your career, reach out and get good council. Pete was very responsive every step of the way and delivered positive results. I highly recommend Pete and his Firm!
Rachel was top-notch from start to finish. She was responsible, professional, quick to respond to emails, texts or phone calls. She gives it to you straight, which I prefer! She thinks outside the box and is definitely the dog you want in the fight for you. She does not waste time and immediately dives right in to get the best results she can for you. I would highly recommend Rachel and her firm to anyone who wants to get the job done right, the first time, in a professional, compassionate and decisive manner.
My wife used this firm for a matter she had with her former employer. She could not have been more satisfied with their services. They were timely in responses, courteous, and very thoughtful. This was a difficult process for her and Pete made it so much easier by handling all of the details of her case.
Rachel Sabo of The Friedmann Firm believed in me when no one else did & helped me through every step of my legal process. Very happy with the firm’s professionalism & dedication to my case.
I called them with some questions about my employment and Jamie was very helpful. I didn’t need an attorney to handle a case for me - only to help me navigate an issue I was having at work. She answered my questions and I felt she truly listened to me. I’d recommend this firm to anyone looking for an employment lawyer. Thank you!
Pete resolved issues I was having with my employer in a quick and favorable manner. He is also easy to talk to and understands his clients rights AND needs. You’d do right to call The Friedmann Firm.
I had a terrific experience with Rachel. She handled my case in a very professional manner. She made herself available and always kept me updated. Her knowledge of the law is incredible. She took the time to educate me on the legal processes so I understood what was happening with my case. Thank you Rachel for helping me navigate a most difficult situation. I am so thankful to have had you as my attorney. You have my highest recommendation.