How to Prove Discrimination in the Hiring Process

Submitted by pec on

If you believe that you have been discriminated against in the hiring process, you may be able to file a claim with the help of an employment law attorney. It’s illegal for employers to engage in discrimination at any point of the hiring process.

Understanding Discrimination in Hiring

Discrimination in hiring occurs when a potential employer doesn’t seriously consider an applicant for a position that they are qualified for because of their race, gender, sex, religion, place of birth, or other protected reason.

Federal employment law forbids employers from disqualifying or refusing to hire an applicant because of their:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation or Identity
  • Place of Birth
  • Handicap
  • Age

And some states have employment laws with additional protections for people that say employers can’t reject applicants for all of the previously stated reasons plus:

  • Marital status
  • Veteran status
  • Financial status

There are several Federal laws that dictate that employers are not allowed to disqualify any applicant for a reason that is spelled out in the language of the law like:

  • Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act
  • The Americans With Disabilities Act
  • The Age Discrimination In Employment Act
  • The Family Medical Leave Act
  • The Pregnancy Fairness Act

If you’ve been the victim of discrimination in the hiring process and it’s hurt your ability to find work you may be eligible to file a claim against an employer that discriminated against you.

Recognizing Signs of Discrimination

How can you tell if you’ve been discriminated against in the hiring process? Many people who have been victimized never pursue a claim because they think that they can’t prove they have been discriminated against. But the signs of discrimination in the hiring process are there if you look. You can recognize the signs of discrimination by:

  • Noticing Red Flags In Job Postings: Companies aren’t going to openly discriminate in their job listings and risk getting into legal trouble. But the language that some companies use is coded to be discriminatory. For example, using language like “young” or “able-bodied” implies age discrimination and discrimination against people who need accommodations for a handicap. Read job listing with a critical eye and look for red flags.
  • Noticing Disparate Treatment vs. Disparate Impact: Disparate treatment and disparate impact are two different types of actions. Disparate treatment occurs when an employer does something that could be considered discriminatory, but it wasn’t done intentionally. Disparate impact is discriminatory conduct that is intentional.

Documenting Discriminatory Actions

It’s very important that you document any and all discriminatory actions an employer or potential employer takes.

Gathering Evidence

Gathering evidence can be difficult, but it’s essential if you want to file a claim and win. In order to gather evidence of discrimination in hiring you can:

  • Request personnel records and application materials.
  • Obtain hiring statistics and employee demographics from a company’s HR department.
  • Talk to employees and other applicants and document their experiences.

Documenting Your Case

After gathering as much evidence as you can, start to build your case. To make an effective case that proves an employer discriminated against you in the hiring process you will need to:

Create A Timeline

The timeline of the events is going to be very important in proving that you were discriminated against and that you were denied a position solely because of discrimination. Start with when you first found the job listing. Include a copy of the job listing, with any discriminatory language highlighted.

From there move on to the first you were contacted by the employer and keep building a timeline of events through the hiring process until you were notified that you were not going to be hired. Include copies of all communication from the employer or recruiter.

Write Out A Detailed Complaint

Make your complaint as detailed as possible and include all evidence that you have. Copies of emails and texts, screenshots of any communications from the employer, copies of any documents that you received from the employer such as a mission statement or a copy of their discrimination policy all can make a difference in your case.

Keep All Records

There’s going to be a lot of paperwork involved, and you’ll need to keep it organized and sorted. It’s a great idea to get a three ring binder and sheet protectors and keep all of your documents in the binder. That way it’s easy to carry around but all the documents will be at your fingertips.

Filing a Complaint or Lawsuit

When you’re ready to file your complaint against an employer make sure that you choose the right jurisdiction. You can file your complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a state agency, or in Federal court. Typically, most people submit a complaint to the EEOC and to the state agency that investigated employment law violations before going to court. Once you have established what jurisdiction you’re going to file your complaint in you need to make sure that you know all the filing and procedural requirements for that jurisdiction. That can be confusing, so it’s a good idea to consult with an employment law attorney who has experience taking claims to court.

Legal representation isn’t necessary if you’re going to file a claim of discrimination, but it’s always a good idea to have an employment lawyer at your side when you’re filing a claim. An employment lawyer can help you keep track of deadlines. They can also go over the case with you to make sure you have created a complete timeline of events and that you have enough evidence to prove your claim.

Speak With an Employment Law Attorney

If you were denied a job because of a reason that is protected by Federal or state law you should speak with an employment lawyer right away. Fill out a Free Case Evaluation now. You’ll be connected with an independent employment law attorney who can answer your questions and help you start your case.


Add new comment