How Do You Prove Discrimination?


Hi, I’m Deborah O’Rell with Tuckner Sipser, an employment discrimination law firm. And let me be clear, I’m not a lawyer, I don’t give legal advice, but I do share information about the process in general. And one of the first questions we get is how do you prove discrimination? Because there very often isn’t that text message that says let’s fire the Brown people or let’s fire the old people. You know, the topic is sensitive to me. But what I can tell you from having done thousands of intakes and working with thousands of clients at this point, if you are being discriminated against, there are examples and that’s what, an employment attorney would be looking for from you.

So let’s just say this is about race and you are a person of color. So these would be the kinds of examples.

  • All the Caucasians get to leave at two o’clock. But I always have to stay til eight.
  • The Caucasians get to do the report this way, but I have to do it this way because I’m more scrutinized.
  • They get invited to all the client events or new trainings. I don’t.
  • They wouldn’t put my photo on the website and, they keep asking or somebody keeps me asking me about my hair.

How do you prove discrimination?Now each one of those examples can be dismissed, you know, by opposing counsel with some sort of, “Yes, but that’s why that happened.” But when you put them together, the context kind of sounds like racial discrimination.

So saying that I’m the only woman on the sales team of 16 men, I’m the only African American in the department. I’m the only Muslim. I’m the only whatever doesn’t necessarily mean that’s why you’re being treated this way or discriminated in this way. It is one possible example that speaks to why. What you need to have is a couple of other examples that support your claim.

So hopefully that clears up how to prove a discrimination. If you have any other questions regarding an employment matter, please feel free to email us or call us. Information is below. We’re here to help and stay safe during these times.