In our previous post, we began looking at ongoing discrimination litigation against CNN and Fox News. Whether workplace discrimination involves racial bias or sexual harassment, one of the biggest challenges for discrimination victims is to bring forward enough evidence to convince a court that discrimination in fact occurred.
Almost always, employers will deny allegations of workplace discrimination and will justify failure to hire or promote, or taking adverse employment action, on poor performance, misconduct, or some other purported basis. When an employee is able to secure evidence of a supervisor’s intention in taking certain actions through some means, it is easy to call the employer’s excuses into question.
In the case of former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, for example, recorded statements from Ailes may have been instrumental in allowing her to settle the discrimination case she brought against the network. Typically, victims of workplace discrimination don’t have access to direct evidence of discriminatory intent, and have to rely on circumstantial evidence to make their case. There are a number of ways to do this, depending on the specific circumstances. In some cases, there may not be a question of discriminatory intent, but rather of workplace policies and practices which have a discriminatory impact.
Gather convincing circumstantial evidence of discrimination is not always an easy road. It often requires looking at company policies, practices, and patterns of activity, as well as statistics regarding the workforce. A skilled attorney can help ensure that a victim of workplace discrimination looks into all potentially helpful avenues in building the strongest possible case, and that the available evidence is put together in the most effective way possible with respect to the discrimination victim’s legal rights and interests.