When treatment of others matters in employment law

Texas workers are unlikely to get direct evidence from an employer that they were discriminated against. Direct evidence includes an employer blatantly telling an employee that he or she didn't get a job because of gender, race or another protected attribute. Therefore, an employee may have to rely on other types of evidence such as how other similarly situated employees were treated by the employer.

While the treatment of other employees isn't necessarily admissible in a lawsuit against the employer, it can be considered by a court if it is relevant to the case. For instance, if an African-American worker was denied a promotion, the fact that white workers with fewer credentials were promoted may be relevant. It may also be relevant for a jury to look at whether the same person was making hiring or other employment decisions in multiple cases.

There are several questions that an individual bringing a discrimination case may want to ask to determine if such evidence may be used. First, other employees who may be cited in a case should ideally be of the same gender, race or other protected class as a plaintiff. Furthermore, the employees who may be cited in a case should have similar job titles or dealt with in the same fashion that a plaintiff was. Finally, any evidence submitted should show a clear pattern of discrimination.

Members of a protected class who experience job discrimination might want to meet with an attorney to see what recourse may be available. An attorney may use witness statements to help establish that this took place. It may be possible to win compensation for back pay plus interest if a worker was wrongfully terminated, demoted or received a pay cut after making a complaint.

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