When you have been the target of discrimination by a Georgia employer, it can be difficult to know what to do and how to respond. Unfortunately, far too many workers find themselves in the same position: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), reports that around one-third of all charges relate to discrimination on account of race, sex, disability, or age – after accounting for workplace discrimination claims filed on multiple bases. Through the legal process, it is possible to hold your employer accountable for mistreatment and obtain monetary damages for the losses you sustain due to illegal conduct.
However, this legal process can be quite complicated, since you need solid, credible evidence to prove that your employer violated the law. Certain details may support your case, while others may be irrelevant. A Georgia employment discrimination attorney can explain, but an overview may help you understand what evidence that will – and will not – support such a claim.
Elements of an Employment Discrimination Case
To understand the role that evidence plays in a claim for work-related discrimination, you should be aware of what you are required to prove. Many of these cases arise under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, though there are other federal laws that protect employees. You may be entitled to legal relief if you can establish that:
- You are a member of a protected group on account of such characteristics as race, sex, age, disability, religion, or national origin;
- You were the target of adverse action in the employment environment, perhaps through termination, demotion, or a change in the conditions of your employment; and
- Your membership in the protected class was the reason for the adverse employment action.
Types of Evidence in a Georgia Workplace Discrimination Claim
Knowing what you need to prove is helpful, but you also need to appreciate the role of evidence in a work-related discrimination claim. Some of the evidentiary requirements are relatively straightforward. For instance, some anti-discrimination laws only apply to companies with a minimum number of employees. Another factor is age when filing a charge under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The law only protects workers 40 years and older from discrimination.
However, you may have access to other evidence that is important to a Georgia discrimination claim, including:
- Direct Evidence: The most powerful details are blatant, obvious, overt violations of the law. The problem is that direct evidence usually does not exist, since no company will actually admit to taking adverse action because of protected characteristics.
- Circumstantial Evidence: Proof in this category tends to be weaker, but you will often have to rely on circumstantial evidence to support an inference that discriminatory acts occurred. When you must base your case upon this proof, your employer has the opportunity to rebut it and present information demonstrating why the actions were legitimate.
Examples of circumstantial evidence include:
- Suspicious timing of the adverse action, especially when other employees bearing protected characteristics are also impacted;
- Indications that similarly situated employees were treated differently, if they were not part of the protected class; and
- Facts showing that you were passed over for opportunities while a less-qualified worker benefitted from them.
Contact Our Georgia Employment Discrimination Lawyers for More Information
It is helpful to know what kinds of evidence can help prove your case for workplace discrimination, since you are often in the best position to collect critical details. However, when it comes to the legal process, you should rely on an experienced attorney for assistance. To learn how we can serve your needs, please contact the Vaughn Law Firm in Decatur, GA. You can set up a free consultation by calling 877.615.9495 or visiting our website.