Discriminatory Hiring/Promotion Claims

 

I wasn’t hired because I am a woman.

 

 

It happened to me: A Real Life Story

 

 

I think I wasn’t hired because I am a woman, how do I prove it?

 

In general, an employer has the right to hire whoever it wants and it may establish any kind of application and selection process it chooses. However, you can establish that the employer had a discriminatory motive by showing that:
1. you belong to a protected class (women);
2. that you applied and were qualified for the job for which the employer was seeking applicants;
3. despite your qualifications, you were rejected; and 4. that, after your rejection, the position remained available or was given to someone else with your qualifications.

 

The interviewer asked me some very personal questions. Is that legal?

 

No. The interviewer cannot ask about areas such as your sexual orientation, religion or medical history. Any questions that are not directly related to how well you can perform the job are inappropriate and potentially discriminatory.

 

The interviewer stated that his customers would prefer to see a man to do this job rather than a woman. Is this a legal reason not to hire me?

 

No. Customer preferences are not considered a legitimate reason for rejecting a candidate. A person must be chosen solely on their skills and experience.

 

What could my employer do to deny my allegations, and how do I respond to its denials?

 

Your prospective employer will likely provide a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for why you were not hired. To counter its response, you will need to show that this reason is merely pretextual, meaning that the employer’s explanation of its behavior is dishonest. You must then reassert that discrimination was actually the motivating factor.

 

I think I was denied a promotion because I’m a woman.

 

I think I did not get the promotion because I’m a woman, how do I prove it?

 

You must show that:
1. you are a member of a protected group (women);
2. you sought and qualified for opportunities that the employer was making available to others;
3. despite your qualifications, you were still denied these opportunities; and
4. after you were denied, the same opportunities remained available or were given to other persons with same qualifications as you.

 

Must I show that I took proactive steps to get the promotion, and that I was qualified?

 

Yes. You need to show the court that you took proactive steps to advance your career. Great examples would be pursuing additional certification or volunteering for challenging assignments. You must also show that you would be qualified for the new position.

 

Must I show that my employer sought a replacement with similar qualifications?

 

Yes. The court will likely seek to make comparisons between you and your fellow co-workers / job applicants. If your field experiences are equal to or superior to your male co-workers and yet, your position in the organization does not reflect this fact, you may have a claim.

 

What could my employer do to deny my allegations, and how do I respond to its denials?

 

Your employer will likely provide a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for why you were not promoted. To counter its response, you will need to show that this reason your employer has offered is merely pretextual, meaning that the employer’s explanation of its behavior is dishonest. You must then reassert that discrimination was actually the motivating factor.

 


Legal Glossary

 

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