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Florida Labor & Employment Lawyer > Blog > Discrimination > How Do You Prove Discrimination in Hiring?

How Do You Prove Discrimination in Hiring?


There are federal and state laws in place that protect workers in Florida against discrimination in hiring. The Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA)—which applies to workers with 15 or more employees—prohibits discrimination on the basis of a protected characteristic, including race, gender, and sexual orientation. Notably, hiring discrimination is barred. In this article, you will find an overview of the key things to understand about proving discrimination in hiring.

The Challenge: Proving Discrimination in Hiring Can Be More Challenging

Hiring discrimination is absolutely not acceptable. That being said, as job candidates often have more limited interactions with prospective employers than actual employees, proving discrimination can sometimes prove to be more challenging.

Here is the primary issue: Companies in Florida rarely openly say why they did not hire someone. Instead, they use vague, generic reasons. They might even give other (pretextual) reasons why a person was passed over for a job. Evidence is key to prove liability in any claim.

Three Categories of Evidence to Prove Hiring Discrimination 

The evidence used to prove hiring discrimination will always vary on a case-by-case basis. What happened to you matters. Broadly speaking, there are three different categories of evidence to prove hiring discrimination. You may use any (or all) of the following types of evidence):

  • Direct Evidence: Direct evidence is the most straightforward form of evidence. It is a type of evidence that involves open evidence of discrimination on the basis of a protected characteristic, such as race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. Here is an example: Imagine that you applied for a job in Florida. The hiring manager says that you seem like a good candidate, but that “we do not hire people over 40 for this position.” That is direct evidence of age discrimination. Of course, the challenge is that many employers do not openly admit to discrimination. Often direct evidence occurs because an employer accidentally revealed the truth.
  • Circumstantial Evidence: In hiring discrimination claims, circumstantial evidence is often the most common type of evidence. However, it can also be quite complex to use. Circumstantial evidence is not about direct statements. Instead, it is about situations that suggest discrimination. Imagine you apply for a job in Florida. You meet all the listed requirements. Better yet, the interview went well. Sadly, you get passed over. Soon after, the job is reposted. A few weeks later, you learn that the job went to a far younger candidate. Were you the victim of age discrimination? You might have been. That is circumstantial evidence and the matter should be investigated.
  • Statistical Evidence: Perhaps the most complex category of evidence, statistical evidence is trends within the company’s hiring practices. For instance, if statistics show that a company has 100 employees and none of them are from a certain racial group, despite a large number of qualified applicants from that group, it raises serious questions.

 Get Help From a Workplace Discrimination Attorney in Florida 

Discrimination claims are complicated—especially when there are allegations of unlawful hiring practices. If you have any questions or concerns about proving liability in a hiring discrimination case, please do not hesitate to contact a Florida employment lawyer for immediate help.

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