Discriminatory Hiring and Promotion Claims

 

I wasn't hired because I'm a woman.

 

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

 

To prove a claim of discriminatory firing, you must show the following elements:
1. You are a member of a protected class (i.e. a woman);
2. You applied for a job for which you were qualified and for which the employer was seeking applicants;
3. The employer rejected you despite your qualifications; and
4. After your rejection, the position remained open and the employer continued to seek applicants with your qualifications.

 

By establishing all of these elements, you will create an initial presumption that your employer discriminated against you on the basis of sex.

 

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

 

While not all personal questions are illegal, it is always in the employer's best interest to avoid asking questions such as if you plan to raise a family or if you call yourself Miss or Mrs. The basic practice that most employers follow is to only ask questions related to job skills and requirements. An employer who asks more personal questions increases the risk that someone may claim discriminatory hiring practices.

 

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

 

Unless being male is a BFOQ, your sex has no legal bearing on your being hired for a job.

 

Must I prove that I didn't get the job because of my sex, and not my qualifications? If so how?

 

Texas courts have looked to an established pattern of discriminatory practice in hiring situations. You should be able to show that the company you applied to had such practices in place and had a history of failing to hire women because of their sex. Keep in mind that an employer may have a valid reason for not hiring women that is legally protected. It is always helpful to do your homework and try to gather statistics about the company's employment history.

 

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

 

Your employer will have an opportunity to produce evidence that it refused to hire you for a legal, non-discriminatory reason. If your employer is silent or does not rebut your initial evidence, and if the court or jury believes your evidence, you will win the case. On the other hand, if your employer does offer evidence that it refused to hire you for a legal, non-discriminatory reason, you will have the final burden to persuade the court to believe your side of the story.

 

Ultimately, you must show that your sex was a motivating factor in your employer's decision to hire or not hire you — even if other factors led to the decision as well. (Click here to learn about what remedies you may be entitled to under Texas law.)

 

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?

 

Under Texas federal case law there is a set of standards you must prove to make a promotion claim. These are:
1. you are a member of a protected group, which you are as a woman;
2. you applied for a position for which you were qualified; 3. you were rejected; and
4. after you were rejected, your employer promoted someone or continued to seek applicants with your qualifications not in the protected group.

 

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

 

Under these elements of case law you must show that you were qualified for the position for which you applied. Texas federal law requires that you actually apply for the position for which you were not hired. This means that you should, to some degree, have actively sought to be promoted. Most importantly, this means submitting an application for the position.

 

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

 

Once you have met the elements above, your employer must explain circumstantial evidence of discrimination by demonstrating a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the employment action. If it successfully does this, then the analysis shifts to the broader question of whether it intentionally discriminated against you. Your employer will have an opportunity to produce evidence that it refused to hire you for a legal, non-discriminatory reason. If your employer is silent or does not rebut your initial evidence, and if the court or jury believes your evidence, you should win the case. On the other hand, if your employer does offer evidence that it refused to hire you for a legal, non-discriminatory reason, you will have the final burden to persuade the court to believe your side of the story.

 

Ultimately, you must show that your sex was a motivating factor in your employer's decision to hire or not hire you — even if other factors led to the decision as well.

 

 


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