How do I prove I was a victim of workplace discrimination?
Workplace discrimination can take many different forms. For some, it may be the loss of a promotion over another, less qualified worker. For others, it could be the loss of a job, allegedly due to downsizing, when the only workers who are downsized are over a certain age. Still others may find that their male counterparts earn more than they do, simply because they are women.
Whatever form the workplace discrimination takes, this type of behavior is more than just unethical, it is illegal. Laws are present to protect workers in these situations and help those who are the victims of workplace discrimination to hold poorly behaving employers accountable for their wrongdoing.
Knowing you are the victim of discrimination and proving it are often two different things. Various pieces of evidence can help to build your case, such as:
- Work history. Gather as much information about your work history as possible. Were you involved in different pilots and programs within work to help build a new product, office moral or otherwise help in the office? Make copies of both the good and the bad, accolades and disciplinary warnings. Although you may hesitate to show the disciplinary warnings, they could serve as further proof of discrimination.
- Physical evidence. Make copies of emails, texts, letters, or any other documentation that may help show the presence of discrimination.
- Witnesses. It is also helpful to gather the contact information of anyone else who saw or was present during a discriminatory meeting or conversation.
The type of relief available for victims of discrimination will vary depending on the circumstances, but can include reinstatement to your position or placement in a higher-ranking position along with back pay for the wages you should have earned while in that job. In especially bad cases, a court may also find it appropriate to require the employer pay additional monetary awards as a form of punishment.