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I am a latina. I have been working with my retail company for 5 years. A
manager’s position recently opened up and I applied for it. A white female who
had been working at the company for 7 months who I trained also applied for the
job which may or may not be true. The manager’s job was given to her and I wasn’t
even offered an interview. I have more experience and am better qualified for the
position. Can I sue?
Asked on October 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
You may have an employment discrimination complaint based on race or national origin. The fact that you had more experience certainly counts in your favor, just as it would also tend to suggest discrimination if you were in fact better qualified. However, if there was some non-discriminatory reason for giving her, not you the job, the fact that you were latina does not matter--it's only discrimination if the fact that you were latina was a contributing cause to not getting the position.
Possible reasons to have given her, not you, the job include education (does she have degrees you lack?), prior work experience (even if not here, does she have relevant and better experience somewhere else), similarity of current jobs to new job (if you are in a very different function or department from the manager's position, but she was in a more closely related function or department, that could make her the better choice), discriplinary record (if you have a a disciplinary record for work infractions and she did not, that would justify not giving you the job), and performance (even if she's newer, if she has had better performance reviews than you, that could justify the choice); etc.
If you eliminate all non-latina factors, however, and the only reason you did not get the job appears to be that you are a latina, then there is a good chance this was discrimination. If that appears to have been the case, contact the federal EEOC, or the state equal/civil rights agency, to file a complaint.
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