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How can you prove workplace discrimination?

Discrimination can happen anywhere, from moments when you're walking down the street to times when you don't receive good service at a restaurant. Discrimination shouldn't happen, but if it does, it's important to take steps to eliminate it from your life. This is especially true if you face discrimination at work.

To tackle discrimination, you'll need to be able to prove it took place on the job. You can provide circumstantial evidence or direct evidence of discrimination to do that. Here are a few examples.

  • Direct evidence

Direct evidence includes things such as recorded statements, witnessed situations of discrimination or written letters. For example, if your employer tells you he's decided to hire a white female and to fire you, a black male, because white women are viewed more positively in the workplace, you would have a right to file a discrimination claim. The evidence can be in the form of a spoken statement or in notes or memos.

  • Circumstantial evidence

Circumstantial evidence is a little harder to use to prove discrimination, but it is possible. For instance, you could show that your boss tends to only hire young, white women whereas you're a young black male. You can show that the others in the company advance faster with less experience and that you face more criticism. If you can show that a situation has enough evidence of suggested discrimination, then you can build a case upon that alone.

You don't have to put up with discrimination. You have the right to work in a discrimination-free workplace, and there are legal avenues to help you.

Source: Workplace Fairness, "Proving Discrimination," accessed Sep. 29, 2017

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