What Qualifies As Proof Under Discrimination Law
Proving workplace discrimination can be difficult. Because employers have public reputations to protect, they will often take great measures to disprove workplace discrimination claims. Allen employment lawyer Dan A. Atkerson has been representing victims of workplace discrimination, wrongful termination and workplace retaliation for more than 32 years. Our attorney has effectively represented the rights of workers in and around Dallas, including employees working in Frisco, Richardson, Allen, McKinney and throughout North Texas.
Speak with Collin County discrimination lawyer Dan A. Atkerson for a free consultation. We can discuss how to approach and file a workplace discrimination lawsuit in Texas.
Texas Discrimination Law: How to Prove Workplace Discrimination
All North Dallas employees must meet a number of initial criteria before establishing a workplace discrimination lawsuit in Texas. First, you must be able to claim yourself a member of a protected class. This means the employer discriminated against you because of your age over 40, race, religion, national origin, disability, pregnancy, gender or sexual orientation. Next, you must provide an initial set of proof from which to base your workplace discrimination claim:
- Prove competence. You must prove you had the qualifications for your job. Or, if you were applying for a job, then you must prove your qualifications for the open position.
- Prove acts of workplace discrimination. You must prove the act of workplace discrimination occurred at no fault your own, despite being a completely competent employee or applicant.
- Prove wrongful termination. If you were wrongfully terminated due to workplace discrimination, you must prove your employer dismissed you for no reason other than as a discriminatory act. Additionally, if an employer wrongfully terminated you for whistleblowing, then you must establish a correlation between the disclosure of information, and the act of workplace retaliation.
If you have questions regarding Texas discrimination law, the Whistleblower Protection Act or would like to file a workplace discrimination lawsuit, our discrimination lawyer may be able to assist you. With his more than three decades practicing employment law in and around Dallas/Fort Worth, he still believes in and fights for the fair treatment of all Texas employees.
Evidence of Discrimination in the Workplace
Unfortunately, simple claims that you are of a protected class, well-qualified and suffered adverse repercussions are often not enough to establish a successful workplace discrimination lawsuit. Rarely does a Texas employer admit to discrimination. Instead, most employers retaliate with a “pretext,” or false justification for the disparate treatment.
For example, an employer may claim they terminated an employee based on his/her poor job performance. It is now up to the employee to disprove this false pretext through direct or circumstantial evidence.
Direct evidence is most helpful to a Texas workplace discrimination case. Examples of direct evidence may include:
- Written employment policies
- Communications or witness testimony
This type of evidence is extremely helpful, but it is not always available.
Circumstantial evidence is more common. Circumstantial evidence may include:
- Proving a lack of response from management if you alerted your supervisors of the discriminatory conduct, and they failed to investigate.
- Providing statistics regarding the hiring, firing and promotions of certain classes of employees can reveal discrimination in the workplace. If you notice older employees being fired and replaced by younger employees, then this may be age discrimination.
- Revealing a pattern of conduct that highlights discriminatory practices. If you notice male coworkers consistently being promoted over equally qualified females, then this could be gender discrimination.
- Comparing your work to that of your coworkers can disprove issues of work quality. Collect positive performance reviews and awards you received to strengthen your workplace discrimination case.
- Pointing out inconsistencies in your employer’s claim. If past performance reports stated that you are excellent with clients, and your employer claims the reason for a dismissal to be your poor client relation skills, then this could be your inconsistency. Point out as many inconsistencies as possible in an attempt to reveal their pretext.