Employer mistakes indicative of workplace discrimination

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2023 | Employment Law

Workplace discrimination can wreak havoc on your life. It can leave you feeling uncomfortable and threatened in your place of work, and it can negatively impact your career, especially if you’re retaliated against for reporting the discriminatory behavior in question.

But you don’t have to sit back and accept the discrimination that’s been exhibited toward you. Instead, you can take legal action to bring the workplace discrimination to a stop and seek compensation for the harm that’s been caused to you.

Where to look for evidence of workplace discrimination

Employers make many mistakes, and catching them can help support your workplace discrimination case. Here are some places that you can look for those mistakes:

  • Documentation: Very rarely are workplace discrimination cases proven through direct evidence of discriminatory acts. Instead, they are proven through circumstantial evidence, which is most often found in written communications. Therefore, you’ll want to keep the written correspondence that you have with your co-workers, your supervisor, other members of management, and your employer’s human resources department.
    Keep in mind that anything you put in writing could eventually be used in court against you. So, be careful with what you say and how you respond to your employer.
  • Misapplied policies: Your employer probably has strong anti-discrimination policies in place. But in practice, your co-workers might fail to abide by these policies. If you and other witnesses can testify to this fact, then you’ll be in a better position to argue that claims of workplace discrimination weren’t taken seriously.
  • Lack of progressive discipline: If your employer fires you for “poor performance,” then there should be a strong track record of your performance issues. But all too often, employers who engage in discriminatory behavior let employees go without providing them with notice of the alleged performance issue and giving them an opportunity to correct it.

If you suffer an adverse employment action, such as demotion, reassignment, or termination, then you should find evidence showing your employer’s lack of discipline for the identified issues. This will then force your employer to show that it took the adverse employment action against you based on some other non-discriminatory reason, which can be difficult to do.

  • Changing stories: Once an employer realizes they’ve been called out for discrimination, they sometimes change their story to try to get on safer legal ground. But this abrupt shift in justifications can be a mistake on their part, giving you the opportunity to highlight their contradictory positions.
  • Bad interview questions: A hiring decision should be based on an individual’s qualifications and their fit for the position. But sometimes questions are asked during the interview process that are indicative of discrimination. This can include questions about time off needed for religious holidays, an intent to have children, or how long an individual plans to work before retiring.

There are a lot of other mistakes that your employer might make that leave the door open for a workplace discrimination or wrongful termination lawsuit. You just have to be on your toes and on the lookout for anything that you feel is suspicious.

Don’t be afraid to take action for workplace discrimination

Being exposed to workplace discrimination is unfair and unjust. It can have a profound impact on your career and your future, too. With so much on the line, you owe it to yourself to take action against your employer if they’ve discriminated against you. Fortunately, you can have a legal ally on your side who can help you fight for the outcome you deserve. Reach out to Alan C. Olson & Associates for trusted guidance.


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