Discriminatory Hiring/Promotion Claims


It happened to me: A Real Life Story


I think I wasn't hired/promoted because I'm a woman, how do I prove it?


First, you must show the following 4 things:
1) that you are a member of a protected class (i.e. that you are a woman);
2) that you applied for and were qualified for a job for which the employer was seeking applicants;
3) that despite your qualifications, you were rejected; and
4) that after this rejection the position remained open or was filled by a person not within the protected class.


Once you have established those four elements, the burden shifts to the employer, who will offer a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for failing to hire you. The employer will present evidence to show that there were other factors that motivated the decision not to hire you. After the employer has made its rebuttal, the burden will shift back to you. At this point, you must show that the employer's legitimate reasons are false and are not the true reason you were not hired. You will need to persuade the court that there was an underlying discriminatory reason for the employer's behavior or that the employer's supposed legitimate, non-discriminatory reason is not credible.



How do I prove I belong to a protected group?


Women are a protected class under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.



How do I prove I was qualified for the position?


To prove you were qualified for the job, you only have to prove that you did not have an absolute lack of qualifications for the position. In the end, it comes down to proving you were just as qualified as the person who was hired.


Even the actual qualifications for a position can be discriminatory, such as a previous experience requirement that is not universally enforced. This is best shown through statistical evidence.



How do I prove I was not hired because I am a woman?


There are different methods of proof depending on whether you are claiming the employer refuses to hire women in general, or just did not hire you because you are a woman. For either type of case, it is essential that the person or people actually hired are members of a different protected class (i.e. men, single women, childless women).


Use statistics to prove a generally discriminatory hiring policy. They can show a low number of women working in the position compared to the number of qualified women in the area. In some cases the statistics alone are enough to prove the discriminatory hiring policy.


Anecdotal evidence is the basis for an individual case. One woman successfully proved her discriminatory hiring case because she was asked if her husband approved of her applying for the job. One of the men on the hiring committee even mentioned that he would "not want his wife" to do such work.



My employer has fewer than 15 employees, is there anything I can do?


No. In Georgia you must bring a discriminatory hiring claim under Title VII, which requires that your employer have 15 or more employees.



Does it matter when the discrimination occurred?


Charges must be filed with the EEOC within 180 dates from when the discrimination occurred.



What options do I have if my employer has fewer than fifteen employees?


In order to bring a claim of this sort under Title VII, your employer must have 15 or more employees.




Legal Glossary


Return to Georgia Law Page


Return to Types of Discrimination


Return to States