Using Direct Evidence in an Employment Discrimination Case

Direct evidence of disparate treatment on the job is relatively rare. However, when it exists, your Orange County employment law lawyer will most certainly use it as the foundation of your employment discrimination case.

Title VII and state statutes
Under state and federal (Title VII) laws, proving that an employer discriminated against a worker is necessary in order to establish liability. This is actually a useful provision, for otherwise a person’s perceptions of mistreatment on the job may not accurately reflect the employer’s motives.

What constitutes “direct evidence?”
Defined by the courts, direct evidence is that which, if believed, “proves the facts of discriminatory animus without inference or presumption.” In other words, the facts are objectively derived from statements or actions, and are not based on opinion or perception. When your attorney investigates your case, he will look for derogatory comments that were made by a supervisor, or direct interference with your work or promotion opportunities.

Sometimes employers inadvertently place themselves in the position of a discrimination lawsuit by issuing procedures or criteria for hiring. In one case a company president issues a memo indicating that prospective hires should be young men between age 30 and 40. Clear discriminatory intent existed, even if the president was unaware that he was practicing discrimination in the workplace.

When there is no direct evidence
If your employment discrimination case does not contain direct evidence, this does not mean that all hope is lost. Your Orange County employment law lawyer can use circumstantial evidence to support your claim of discrimination.

If you have been discriminated against in the workplace, it is important that you hire a lawyer who can vigorously represent you. Contact lawyers Reed Aljian and Justin Daily for a consultation today at (949) 861-2524.

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