Basic Elements of an Employment Discrimination Claim Our sole mission is to stand with you in your fight against workplace discrimination.

Basic Elements Of An Employment Discrimination Claim

Listed below are the basic elements of a workplace discrimination claim and a hostile work environment/harassment claim. If you answer yes to any of the sub-items in 1, 2 or 3 below for a discrimination claim, or any sub item in 4 or 5 below for a harassment claim, call us immediately!

  1. Have you been discriminated against because of your:
    • Race
    • Color
    • Sex
    • Religion
    • National Origin
    • Age (over 40)
    • Disability
    • Pregnancy
  2. Has a negative employment action been taken against you?
    • Have you applied for a job and not been hired?
    • Have you been fired?
    • Have you applied for a promotion and not gotten it?
    • Have you been demoted?
    • Have you been disciplined?
    • Have you suffered a cut in pay or benefits?
    • Have you not received the same increase in pay or benefits as similar employees outside your protected class?
    • Have you received a poor performance evaluation?
  3. Do you have direct or indirect evidence that a negative employment action has been taken against you?
    1. Direct Evidence: Your employer has specifically stated that its motive in taking the action is discriminatory (rare)
    2. Indirect Evidence:
      1. Were you fired?
        • Were you qualified for the position and satisfying your employer's legitimate expectations?
        • After you were fired, did your employer seek a replacement with qualifications similar to yours?
      2. Are You Still Employed?
        • Were you satisfying the employer's legitimate expectations?
        • Did you suffer an adverse employment action (demotion, pay cut, discipline, etc.)?
        • Were similarly situated employees outside your protected class treated more favorably under similar circumstances?
  4. Have you been subject to harassment causing a hostile work environment based upon your membership in a protected class (listed in item 1 above)?
    1. Is the harasser a co-worker?
      • Can you show that your employer knew or should have known of the harassment and failed to take reasonable corrective action?
      • Have you reported the harassment to your employer?
      • Has your employer taken reasonable corrective action?
    2. Is the harasser a supervisor?
      • Is the harasser a person who has the power to hire, fire, promote, demote or discipline you?
      • Has the harasser/supervisor caused a negative employment action (see item 2 above) to be taken against you?
      • If no negative employment action has been taken against you, have you not complained to HR because the complaint would go through the harassing supervisor or does your employer have a history of ignoring complaints, and therefore the complaint would be futile?
  1. Have you been sexually harassed as a condition for employment?
    1. Have you been subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature?
      • Was submission to this conduct made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of your employment?
      • Was your submission to or rejection of such conduct by your employer or supervisor used as a basis for an employment decision affecting you?
      • Was there a consensual sexual relationship with the supervisor?

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