Refusing to Be the Victim: 7 Ways to Prove Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination in the workplace can occur in many ways. And lucky for you, there are federal anti-discrimination laws that protect you if you belong to the protected class. But, again, proving discrimination is not an easy task, even when you’re a member of the protected class. But with the right guidance, seeking justice will be much easier. Here are 7 ways you can prove discrimination in the workplace. Please read on.

  1. Keep Useful Communications

Employers will hardly tell you that they’re actually discriminating against you for an illegal reason. This means that you’ll have to look for circumstantial evidence of intent. Look for bias in your employer’s comments like insulting language. So, ensure to keep those phone messages, memos, emails, and letters. There’s a chance you’ll find biased language in them.

  1. Pay Attention to How You’re Treated

You’ll know you were discriminated against if you were treated differently than your fellow workmates. For instance, did your employer only grant promotion to employees of one race or one sex? If yes, then you’ll have proof of discriminatory intent. Check also for statistics to see how the company has been conducting promotions and related activities and get in touch with a professional California workplace retaliation lawyer (if your company is situated there) to seek legal help.

  1. File a Lawsuit

If you’ve been discriminated against in your place of work, you need to file a complaint with facts surrounding the dispute and, perhaps, the relief you need. You need to consult a lawyer experienced in handling similar discrimination cases. For instance, you can consult the Winer, McKenna, Burritt & Tillis, LLP. The attorney will advise you on the legal steps to take and whether to sue under the state or federal law.

  1. Check for Past Discrimination Record of Your Employer

Discrimination may be a culture of a company. If it had been sued before, then there’s a high probability that they’ll practice the unlawful act again. This information can really help you prove the act of discrimination in court. You can request for the company to disclose this kind of information after filing a lawsuit.

  1. Request Documents Through Discovery

Use the discovery process to request for useful documents. You should request for termination notice, rules, handbooks, and a copy of your personnel file which contains your application, resume, and interview comments among other details. Request also for other documents related to your employment decision and communications leading to the action taken against you.

  1. Testimonies from Witnesses

Witnesses are a material to your discrimination lawsuit. If someone overheard your employer make a biased statement about you, s/he can testify as to what they overheard and saw. In a situation where someone else, not disabled, was given the job or promoted instead of you, they’ll have to testify as to their credentials and if yours are stronger, it’s an indication of discrimination.

  1. Have Financial Documents

Could you have suffered damages as a result of the discrimination that you faced? If yes, then you’ll need to have all the documents of the benefits you were deprived such as salaries, fringe benefits like W-2 and 1099 forms, and job benefits documents such as profit sharing plans, insurance, and retirement plan contributions. These will help you recover for the lost wages.


Be watchful while in the place of work, be it a small business or a big company for discriminatory actions or comments. If you know how the people in the protected class are to be treated, you’ll be able to identify any form of discrimination. But you need to be keen to differentiate unfairness from discrimination. You should consult your attorney to guide you in this. Look out for relevant blogs relating to workplace discrimination for more information.