The Timing of the Employer's Decision
In some instances, the timing of an employment decision can help prove it was discriminatory. While this most frequently comes up in retaliation cases, it also arises in some types of employment discrimination cases. For example, if your boss starts treating you worse soon after you announce you are pregnant, or fires you when you try to return from a maternity leave, that might help prove gender and pregnancy discrimination. Similarly, if your employer demotes or fires you for no good reason after you request time off because of a medical condition, that could help support a disability discrimination claim.
Documents and Witnesses
While most evidence of employment discrimination often comes from the victim of the discrimination him or herself, it can be very helpful to have documents and witnesses to support your claim. For example, current or former coworkers might confirm that your boss made discriminatory remarks, or have inside information about the company's real reasons for its actions toward you.
In addition, documents might help prove the company's explanation for firing you was false, or reflect your supervisor's discriminatory attitudes. This can include traditional work-related documents like performance reviews and termination letters. It can also include a variety of other documents, such as emails, pictures, audio recordings, text messages, or even postings on websites like Facebook or MySpace<.
For more information, please see my articles How Do I Prove Employment Discrimination?, which discusses proving discrimination based on the employer's discriminatory statements, and evidence the employer's explanation for its actions is false, and Additional Ways to Prove Employment Discrimination, which is about proving discrimination based on the employer's pattern of discrimination, and favoritism of people outside your protected group.
If you have a question about your employment law rights in New York or New Jersey, contact an experienced employment law attorney in your area.