Discriminatory Firing Claims


I think I was fired because I’m a woman.


I think I was fired because I’m a woman, how do I prove it?


You must show:
1. That you are a member of a statutorily "protected class" (i.e. a woman);
2. That you were qualified for the job; and
3. That the discharge occurred in circumstances giving rise to an inference of discrimination. In raising an inference of discriminatory discharge, you might show, for example, that you and your male colleagues committed the same acts, but that only you were fired for those acts.


Are women a "protected class"?


Yes, women are considered a protected class because of the history of discrimination against them. A statutorily protected class, such as women, is one that benefits from the protections of federal, state or local anti-discrimination laws.


How do I show that my legally protected class led to my discharge?


In order to show that your discharge was connected to the fact that you’re a woman, you must provide proof that had you been a man, you would not have been fired. You can do this by using direct evidence such as a person’s testimony or by providing statistics of the discriminatory conduct. It is important to note that even if a woman replaced you, you may still have a claim if you can show that you were fired because of your employer’s stereotypical expectations for women in your position.


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


Once you have shown that your termination is connected to the fact that you’re a woman, your employer may offer evidence indicating that it fired you for legitimate and lawful reasons, or may raise the BFOQ defense. It is your burden to ultimately convince the court that your employer fired you, at least in part, because of your sex.



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