The Use of Direct Evidence to Establish Retaliatory Intent

One very important issue encountered by Lakeland employment lawyers when representing their clients in a retaliation case is gathering evidence of the employer's motive for retaliation. For retaliation cases, retaliatory intent is a required element.

One way of establishing retaliatory intent is through the use of direct evidence to show that the decision maker acted in a retaliatory manner. In the below hypothetical scenarios, the Circuit Court of Appeals would determine that direct evidence was present:

  • The plaintiff was told by his supervisor that he was not going to receive the promotion because he refused to enter into a sexual relationship with the supervisor.
  • The employer has posted a written memo that strongly discouraged the hiring of Hispanics. A Hispanic plaintiff interviewing for an open position was not hired because of the policy.
  • The plaintiff was told by the decision maker that she was not going to be offered a promotion because the plaintiff filed a discrimination case with the EEOC.

Lakeland employment lawyers may also encounter situations where a decision maker has discriminated against their client, who was either a job applicant or existing employee. Direct evidence can also be found in scenarios where the plaintiff belongs to a particular class and the employer has shown animosity or hatred towards that class. Below are some scenarios where the Court of Appeals would likely determine that there is direct evidence:

  • The firm's president has notified hiring managers that she did not want them to hire anyone of Arab descent. Subsequently, one of the hiring managers hires a Caucasian over an Arab applicant.
  • A decision maker has told various people within the company that they would end up having to look for employment elsewhere if they ever filed a complaint directly with those higher up than the decision maker. The decision maker ends up firing an employee not long after the employee filed a complaint to one of the higher ups.
  • The hiring partner had stated on previous occasions that he did not believe that women were qualified to perform as a Vice President within the company. The hiring partner ends up promoting a man to a Vice President position.

If you feel that your rights as an employee or job applicant have been violated, you should contact an experienced Lakeland employment lawyer. Please call the law firm of Smith, Feddeler & Smith to schedule a consultation.