Federal and state laws provide you protection from employment discrimination in all areas of the hiring and employment process, including interviews, promotions, job assignments and benefits.
The American Bar Association explains if you believe you are a victim of discrimination at work, then you have a few different methods you can use to prove your case.
Proving the elements
The most important aspect of proving your case is showing a violation of the elements of the law, which include showing you are a member of a protected group and that your employer knew of this protection. It is usually easy to prove you are a member of a protected class, but it may not be easy to prove your employer’s knowledge, especially in cases where the protected characteristic or attribute is not something obvious or visual, such as religious background or sexual preference.
Depending on the type of claim you make, you may also have to show you suffered harm, that the employer treated other employees differently than you and that harassment occurred.
Shifting the burden of proof
If you can prove the right elements based on your claim, then the burden of proof shifts to your employer. It then must show that actions taken were not discrimination and were not dependent upon your protected status. There must be a valid reason for the actions of your employer. If it can provide this evidence, then you will need to show further proof to legitimize your claim and prove your employer is trying to cover up legitimate discrimination with a valid excuse.