Discrimination can occur in different ways. It can be in overt ways such as sexist or racist language. In other ways, it can be more subtle and it is not always easy to prove. In this article, we are going to look at discrimination and how it is possible to prove it.
Different types of discrimination
There are different types of discrimination, some more subtle than others. There is intent, whereby someone is treated differently. There can also be disparate impact, where an employment policy could adversely affect specific groups and in some cases employers can even retaliate and make life difficult for people who make legitimate complaints.
There are different forms of evidence that you can use to prove if you have been discriminated against. For example, if an employer tells you that your contract is being terminated because they want to bring in someone younger then you can use this as evidence of age discrimination (this counts both for verbal and written communication).
However, this can be complicated by the fact people tend to be more aware of this now and so it may be necessary to find circumstantial evidence. Essentially there are four steps-
- Being a member of a group– if you are making a claim that you are being discriminated against due to a disability this should be something you can prove (this also counts for mental health problems as well)
- Were you qualified? For example, if you missed out on a promotion because you didn’t complete a certificate in order to get it then this isn’t discrimination (unless you were not told that you had to get that certificate in order to get the promotion.
- What actions did they take? This can take a number of forms and in some cases, can be difficult to prove i.e. some pregnant women have reported that when they returned to work after taking parental leave that their lives were made harder in the workplace.
- Who replaced you? It may not necessarily be as simple as “I’m disabled and they replaced me with someone who is not disabled” What needs to be proven is that someone actively discriminated against you because you are disabled rather than a legitimate reason.
These are of course other potential factors and you should also look at the levels of diversity in the workplace, how people are treated within that workforce and their record of recording and dealing with complaints. A quick look online can show you review sites about workplaces and can provide additional feedback on top of your own experiences and experiences of the rest of your workforce.
We can help
As you can see proving discrimination can be complex and there are aspects that can be quite subtle and difficult to deal with. This is why it is important to have the right legal representatives to look at the situation and gauge whether or not you have a claim and to give you the best possible chance of a positive verdict.
For more information or to discuss your case in more detail please contact Larcomes today and we will be happy to get you in touch with one of our legal experts.