Federal Employee Discrimination: How to Prove It

March 28, 2018
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

Federal employees can take legal action to pursue a legal remedy if they are victimized by any type of unlawful discriminatory behavior.  This could include being refused a job or promotion or being fired as a result of their race, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, advanced age, or other protected status. Workers who are sexually harassed; whose federal government employers refuse to make accommodations for their disability or their religion; who were disqualified from a job due to a discriminatory job requirement; or who are subject to a hostile work environment can also make a claim for damages.

In order for federal workers to successfully make their case and recover compensation, the victimized workers will need to prove that the discrimination or unlawful harassment actually occurred.  Baltimore employment lawyers can provide help to federal workers in proving their case.

How Federal Workers Can Prove Discrimination

Federal workers need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that they were victimized by discrimination. This means it needs to be more likely than not that the worker was actually subject to discriminatory and unlawful behavior.

The specifics of what the worker will need to prove varies depending upon the type of discrimination. For example, to prove hostile work environment discrimination, the worker would need to prove that a reasonable person would have been made uncomfortable because of the discriminatory and harassing behavior of coworkers. To prove discrimination in hiring, firing, or terms and conditions of employment, the worker would need to show that his or her race, age, disability, religion, or other protected status prevented him from getting the job.

You can present either direct or circumstantial evidence of discriminatory conduct when you try to make a claim for discrimination. If your manager told you that you were getting too old to keep working at your job, this could be direct evidence.  If your coworkers sent you harassing emails because of your religion, this would be direct evidence.

Sometimes, it can be your word against your employers. However, when a dispute arises over whether discrimination occurred, there is a discovery process in which you can obtain information. You may be able to obtain memos, notes, emails, and other documents that show your manager or fellow employees are prejudiced or have made statements that could clearly suggest they were motivated by discrimination.

You should keep a detailed record of any instances of harassing behavior, discriminatory conduct, or other actions taken by managers or coworkers that you believe would help you to prove wrongful discrimination. Write down details including the date, the exact language used or actions taken, and whether there were any witnesses. Witnesses could back up your statement about the events you claim occurred and could help you make your case stronger.

You can also present circumstantial evidence, such as showing you are a member of a protected class, you were qualified for your position, adverse action was taken against you, and you were replaced by someone not in the protected class.

Baltimore employment lawyers can help you to understand the types of evidence you will need to present to make your case and can assist you with the process of gathering the evidence you need to present a strong claim. Call The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C. at 410-514-6099 or contact us online today.