What is the Legal Definition of Reverse Discrimination and What Can You Do if You Have Been the Victim of It?Employment discrimination against historically privileged groups, such as Caucasians and men, is known as “reverse discrimination.” The most well-known example of reverse discrimination is affirmative action in the selection of students for university admission. Title VII prohibits workplace discrimination on several grounds (e.g., race, gender, and age) and exists to protect the rights of all people, regardless of their social class.

If you believe you have been the victim of any type of discrimination, including reverse discrimination, it is time to contact an employment law attorney. You can reach The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now for a consultation.

What do you need to prove a case of reverse discrimination?

A hiring choice based on race, for example, is not always a constitutional or legislative infringement. The plaintiff has the burden of proving that the employer’s reverse discrimination was founded on a discriminatory basis in the first place (e.g., race, sex.) The plaintiff must provide one or both of the following:

  • Direct proof. Evidence that the plaintiff belongs to a protected class (e.g., race, sex, age) and that similarly situated employees were treated better than the plaintiff
  • Indirect evidence. Information indicating that the employer discriminates against historically privileged groups; evidence that the plaintiff performed satisfactorily on the job; proof that the plaintiff was subjected to an adverse employment action; and similarly situated employees were treated better than the plaintiff.

If the employer gives a non-discriminatory reason for its hiring decision, the plaintiff must show that the non-discriminatory reason is false by demonstrating:

  • The employer’s explanation isn’t based on facts or
  • The explanation isn’t the “true” cause or
  • The reason presented isn’t enough to justify the adverse employment action

Examples of reverse discrimination in the workplace include non-Caucasians and women being hired (rather than Caucasians and men), Caucasians and men are being fired (but not non-Caucasians and women), and persons under the age of 40 are not hired or are fired.

What happens if the employer claims that reverse discrimination is required to prevent discrimination against underserved groups?

The most prevalent justification for reverse discrimination is that it is required to correct earlier or inadvertent prejudice against non-privileged groups. To establish this defense, however, the employer must have a “strong foundation” in evidence that it was accountable for earlier or inadvertent discrimination.

The public focus of this debate is on affirmative action lawsuits. Affirmative action proponents believe that preferring “minorities” over privileged groups is vital because “minorities” have historically been discriminated against and because the current power system favors privileged groups over “minorities.” Although the topic is most popular in university admissions, the same criticism is leveled at work entry and promotion tests.

Employers must provide convincing proof that past prejudice happened at their organization or that inadvertent discrimination is extremely likely to occur, unlike university admissions.

Is a lawyer required in my reverse discrimination case?

It’s difficult to file a claim for reverse discrimination against an employer. A discrimination lawyer will evaluate your claim and assist you in submitting it. Before signing a waiver or other severance package, it’s also a good idea to consult with an attorney. If you are an employer who is being sued for reverse discrimination, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now.