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Winning an Employment Case Using Direct or Circumstantial Evidence

By Edited Jul 23, 2015 0 0

If you suffered from discrimination or retaliation at work, you are entitled to file a case against your employer in order to be compensated. The most important element in employment cases is evidence, meaning you cannot win if you failed to prove your allegation using documents or witnesses' statements.

Acquiring direct evidence will enable you to easily prove your employer's fault because it can stand on its own, meaning there is no need to gather additional facts that will support it. This evidence will show that your employer performed illegal practices, without much effort on your part.

Examples of direct evidence include:

  • Memos, emails, and other documents which will show that there is a direct communication between you and your employer
  • Statements given by managers and supervisors

If you were able to gather these pieces of evidence, rest assured that you will have a good chance of winning the case. However, if you failed to acquire them, you will have a harder time establishing your employer's liability.

You are allowed to use circumstantial evidence in order to prove your allegations. When you present circumstantial evidence to the court, it will be considered as direct evidence, provided that you can show its consistency and credibility.

Remember, employment cases often involve complex issues so it is better if you will be represented by a Los Angeles employment attorney during court proceedings.

In order to win the case using circumstantial evidence, your attorney will need to prove the following:

  • You are included in a protected class- Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; employers cannot base employment-related decisions on an employee or applicant's race, sex, national origin, disability, age, and religion. If your employer treated you unfairly due to one of these characteristics, he will be held liable in the case.
  • You possess the right qualifications for the job-. If your application was rejected or if you were fired due to biased reasons, your attorney will need to show that you have the proper skills needed for the job.
  • Your employer committed a negative or adverse action against you- You will not be able to win your case if you failed to prove this element.

Examples of adverse actions include the following:

  • Denial of benefits like sick and vacation pay
  • Blacklisting
  • Rejection of application
  • Termination
  • Demotion
  • Suspension

Remember, negative or adverse actions will only be considered as illegal if they were based on the characteristics included in a protected class.

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