Far too often, employees choose to forgo litigation because of concerns regarding their ability to prove discrimination by their supervisor or employer. Let’s face it, proving somebody else’s state of mind is not easy to do! In fact, a lot cases of recognize this to be a fact. The law recognizes that “it is often difficult to produce direct evidence of an employer’s discriminatory intent” Johnson v. United Cerebral Palsy/Spastic Children’s Foundation (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 740.
However, there are tried and true ways to prove discrimination, and one of the most effective ways is with Me Too evidence.
What is Me Too Evidence?
The well settled Me Too doctrine provides that an employer’s conduct that tends to demonstrate hostility toward a certain group is both relevant and admissible where the employer’s general hostility toward that group is the true reason behind firing an employee who is a member of that group. Johnson at 765 citing Heyne v. Caruso (1995) 69 F.3d 1475; Pantoja v. Anton, (2011) 198 Cal. App. 4th 87 at 113.
Me Too evidence is highly probative of the defendants’ state of mind. Intent is an element of a discrimination claim. Johnson, supra.
Me too evidence therefore is “highly probative” because of the inherent difficulty in proving a state of mind. Id.
Simply put, evidence that a defendant discriminated against another similarly situated employee makes it more likely that defendant harbored the same intent in both instances. McCoy v. Pacific Maritime Ass’n (2013) 216 Cal. App. 4th 283, 298 [the trial court should have admitted evidence that other employees were retaliated against after they complained of discrimination].
Akopyan Law Firm A.P.C. Provides Skilled, Experienced Representation
Employers and employees in Southern California can contact Akopyan Law Firm, A.P.C. to learn more about this and other aspects of employment law. We are proud to be a leading authority on employment law in California and have helped hundreds of clients achieve results. Visit our website to discover how we can assist you with employment discrimination cases.