Efficient And Effective Business Litigation

Understanding employment discrimination claims

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2022 | Employment Disputes |

Most employers do their best to provide a supportive, productive work environment while enforcing employment regulations. Sometimes, however, an employee or applicant will make a claim of discrimination and the employer may not know what to do next.

Discrimination claim

It is against the law for employers to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, genetic information and sex, including pregnancy, sexual orientation and gender identity. This applies to discrimination against applicants and employees.

Employers cannot retaliate against an employee or applicant for filing or threating to file a discrimination complaint or being part of a discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

For an employee to establish a case for discrimination, he or she must prove several elements. The employee must demonstrate that he or she is a member of a protected class, suffered an adverse employment action, met his or her employer’s legitimate expectations at the time of the adverse employment action and was treated differently than similarly situated employees.

Adverse employment action

In situations where the employee was terminated, demoted or suspended for a discriminatory reason it may be clearly evident that the employee experienced an adverse employment action.

However, in other situations like when an employee is not promoted based on his or her inability to do the job, the employer should be prepared to demonstrate that the adverse employment action was taken because of a non-discriminatory reason.

For this reason and others, it is helpful for the employer to keep detailed performance records. If an employer is faced with a claim of discrimination, there is assistance available to address it.