In This Jurisdiction, Employment Discrimination Lawsuits Go Further

What are the grounds for a valid employment discrimination lawsuit?

A recent review of rulings by New York judges reveals that in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York employment discrimination lawsuits are less likely than other actions to be dismissed early on in litigation. The Eastern District of New York encompasses the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Long Island, along with some outer boroughs. In total, over eight million people live within this jurisdiction, and the region encompasses major employers like Etsy and Kickstarter.

For employees, filing an employment discrimination lawsuit can be time consuming and stressful. The greatest fear of most filing employees is that the action will be swiftly dismissed, leaving them without recourse. Bloomberg Law Analytics examined employment lawsuits and compared them to all other cases. The review found that 53.4 percent of all cases are dismissed on a motion to dismiss. Motions to dismiss are filed immediately after an action commences and before evidence is exchanged. In contrast, just 48.9 employment cases are dismissed on a motion to dismiss.

For plaintiffs in New York, these findings are good news. It means that you have a better than 50/50 chance of your case at least making it to the discovery period. From there, however, slightly more employment discrimination cases are dismissed on summary judgment than all other cases. The Bloomberg report found that 56.7 percent of employment cases end in a summary judgment, as compared to 52 percent of cases overall.

Elements of a Viable Employment Discrimination Case

Federal and state laws ban certain forms of discrimination in the workplace. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 it is illegal to discriminate against an employee on the basis of their religion, race, color, national origin, or sex. It is further illegal to discriminate against people due to age of over 40 or disability.

To have a viable claim for discrimination, an employee must introduce either direct or circumstantial evidence that shows the employee was a member of a protected class, the employee was qualified for the position, the employer took adverse action against the employee, and the employee was replaced by a person, not in a protected class. These basic facts should form the basis for your employment discrimination action. Your employment law attorney will assist you in assessing your case and determining your legal rights.