What evidence do I need to sue my employer for discrimination?
Best Employment Discrimination Lawyer Answer: One of the big issues at an employment discrimination trial is to show that the employee was treated differently that similarly situated employees of a different race/color, religion, gender/sex (including pregnancy and LGBTQ+ status), national origin, age, or disability. These similarly situated employees are often called “comparators” by lawyers and judges.
While the affected employee may have some direct knowledge of the discrimination, that employee will not have access to how the supervisor or manager treated comparators behind closed doors. Indeed, depending on the type of company, the affected employee might not even be able to identify any or all of the comparators at the beginning of the case. Certainly, the employee will not have access to the boss or supervisor’s personnel file to see if he or she has engaged in any discriminatory or harassing conduct in the past.
If you find yourself the subject of discrimination or harassment but are worried that you don’t have enough evidence to prove it, don’t let that stop you from consulting qualified employees’ rights attorneys. These employment law lawyers have the ability to gain access to those records and information – as well as depose key witness – in order to discover all the skeletons that an employer may be hiding in its closet.
How can I get information and documents my employer is hiding to prove I was wrongfully fired?
Best Wrongful Termination Attorney Answer: A recent case out of the United Stated District Court for the Western District of North Carolina highlights the ability of employees to get information from their former employers to prove unlawful discrimination in the workplace or wrongful termination. In Williams v. AT&T Services, Inc., No. 3:21CV617, 2022 WL 1814630, at *1 (W.D.N.C. June 2, 2022), the employee, Randy Williams, who is Black, sued his former employer for race discrimination and wrongful termination. After initiating the lawsuit, Williams requested that the employer produce documents and information relating to both managers and supervisors who took part in the decision to fire him as well as comparators who engaged in similar conduct. (Evidence showing that White employees engaged in the same or similar conduct but were treated more favorably or less harshly is key to showing racially disparate treatment and pretext – Employment Discrimination Question: What Is Pretext? ). Williams limited his request to five years prior to the adverse employment action. (Best Law Read: What Constitutes An Adverse Employment Action Under Title VII?; What Is An Adverse Employment Action?). The employer objected to the temporal scope of the request, saying that five years was to long.
In opposing the Motion to Compel filed with the District Court, the employer advanced two arguments. First, it argued that because the employee’s claim lacked evidence and merit, it should be dismissed. Of course, this puts the cart before the horse as the purpose of discovery is to get all the evidence shared before the determination of whether there is a case is made. The District Court barely paused to address this frivolous argument.
Next, the employer argued that because the discrimination was alleged to have taken place between August 27, 2020 and November 2, 2020, discovery should be limited to that approximate two month period. The District Court rejected this argument as well, holding:
“temporal limits on discovery are determined on a case-by-case basis,” and courts have readily and regularly granted temporal scopes years before the alleged conduct at issue. Johnson v. Mechanics Farmers Bank, Civil No. 3:05CV258-W, 2006 WL 3207320, at *4 (W.D.N.C. Nov. 3, 2006) (in employment discrimination case, discussing temporal scope and finding as “reasonable” a five year window for employment records [including comparator records] beginning over four years before the first alleged discriminatory event); Marens v. Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Inc., 196 F.R.D. 35, 40-41 (D. Md. 2000) (in employment discrimination case, ordering production of documents of similar incidents occurring within five year period preceding plaintiff’s termination).The Court finds Plaintiff’s requests, as self-limited in scope by the Plaintiff, relevant and proportional to the case. Accordingly, the Court will grant Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel.
Id. at *2. Not only was the Motion to Compel granted, but the District Court also granted sanctions against the employer for delaying discovery, including paying the attorney’s fees necessary for bringing the Motion to Compel.
The clear lesson is that while employees don’t need to have all the evidence to prove discrimination at the beginning of the case, they are entitled to discovery from the employer to get what evidence might be there.
How do I get evidence to sue my employer for firing me because I’m Black?
Best Employee’s Rights Law Firm Answer: There are a lot of reasons to consult an attorney about the specifics of your case. Importantly, an employment law attorney will know what to seek in discovery and how to get that evidence in order to prove your employment discrimination case. Every case is different. No race, national origin, gender, age, religion or disability is the same. To get the help specifically tailored for your case, your best course of action is to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation. (Read: What is the Spitz No Fee Guarantee?) Call our lawyers in Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Toledo, Cincinnati and Raleigh to get help now. Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm and its experienced attorneys are dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
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