What I can do to prove discrimation on basis of age and/or race?

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What I can do to prove discrimation on basis of age and/or race?

I work for a church and a person was hired without any experience in parish ministry nor any degree. And she is in a supervisory position. I have had 34 years experience, others on staff have had many years as well.

Asked on October 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Essentially, when there is no "smoking gun"--for example, no email which makes derogatory remarks about  older workers or your racial group--then you need to show that there is no valid reason for someone to be preferred over you, from which a court would infer that the reason for the preference was illegal discrimination. Note that in this case, for example, the new person's lack of ministry experience or degree will help you; on the other hand, if she has experience in some other industry that could be valuable (for example, say your church wants to improve community outreach, and she has experience in either outreach or in media/marketing) or if she has some personnel connection to church management (such as if she is someone's cousin or neice, daughter of a good friend, etc.--nepotism is legal), they could then in turn likely show that the hiring was non-discriminatory.


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