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The importance of documents in an age discrimination case

On Behalf of | May 28, 2021 | Employment Law, Workplace Discrimination

People in Georgia and across the United States are increasingly standing up for their employment rights. Those who have been deprived a job offer or been unable to advance because of discrimination should be aware of available strategies relevant to their situation. A key aspect is documentation.

Case in which a teacher was denied promotion allowed to proceed

A teacher who sought a promotion but was passed over for someone younger filed an age discrimination lawsuit. It was decided that the case can proceed because the employer simply said that the person who was hired was a “better fit.” The complainant, 57, had previous experience as an assistant principal. Still, she was passed over. The school district sought a summary judgment, but the federal district court denied it, saying that there was no clear reason for its decision not to promote her apart from the subjective estimation of fitness.

Documentation can be essential in this type of case. For example, if an employer presents a legitimate reason for its choice, such as a budgetary limitation, then it may be difficult to show that discrimination was a key factor. If there is no other reason and a lack of documentation showing how the business or organization would be better off with a different candidate, then the “better fit” statement would be judged on its own and could be seen as discriminatory. For entities that do not have detailed criteria and seem to be randomly implementing policy, there may be a better chance for a successful legal filing for employment discrimination.

Professional advice can scrutinize employment law violations

Employees or prospective employees who were subjected to discrimination should understand vital points about evidence. If there is documentation as to how the hiring and promotion process is done and the employer’s statements contradict that, it could be helpful with a case. For assistance in dealing with these complex issues, it is useful to have experienced guidance from the outset.