Many people are affected by discrimination in the workplace but are afraid to speak up because they think they are the only one experiencing such treatment. However, discrimination rarely affects just one employee. By coming forward and fighting against discrimination in your workplace, you may be encouraging others to do the same.
What is discrimination in the workplace?
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employment discrimination is illegal in the United States. This essentially means that your employer cannot take action against you based on any of the following protected characteristics:
- Age (40 or older)
- Sex (gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, etc.)
- National origin
- Genetic information
To prove you were discriminated against in the workplace, you may have to show:
- You are a member of protected class (see above).
- Your employer took adverse action against you: Demotion, termination, reduction in pay or benefits, disciplinary action, lack promotion, etc.
- Direct evidence (e.g., employer admitted to taking action against you for discriminatory reasons) or indirect evidence (e.g., employer fired you, a woman, even though you were qualified for the job and hired a man with the same qualifications as you) of discrimination.
Evidence can support your employment discrimination claim
It may seem like proving discrimination is an uphill battle, especially if it is your word against your employer’s. An experienced attorney in North Carolina specializing in employment discrimination can help you locate and collect all the evidence you need to back up your claims. Because your employer is likely claiming that any adverse action taken against you was for a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason, it is in your best interest to find evidence that contradicts their reason. Some useful evidence may include:
- Evidence of strong work performance (e.g., positive performance reviews)
- Correspondence from supervisors and other employees (emails, text messages, etc.)
- Policies detailing how the company handles employee complaints of discrimination.
If you think your employer discriminated against you, consider speaking with an employment law attorney as soon as possible.