Employment Discrimination


If you feel that you have been discriminated against at work or when you applied for a job, contact Dutko Law and allow Attorney Dutko to assess your case. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits a qualified employer from discriminating against an employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex. As a former small business owner, Attorney Dutko has gained valuable experience in the field of employment discrimination claims.


In most instances, if you have 15 or more employees there is the potential for a federal claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. An employee or former employee can sue because of direct, intentional discrimination, know as Disparate Treatment. A discrimination claim can also be brought because of the result of a policy that is not discriminatory on its face, known as Disparate Impact.

In McDonnell Douglas v. Green, the Supreme Court created a framework for the allocation of proof in disparate treatment cases based on circumstantial evidence. The plaintiff (employee) must prove that they have been clearly discriminated against.

To prove a prima facie showing of discrimination in hiring or promotion, the employee needs to show:

  • They are a member of a protected class
  • They were qualified for the position
  • That an adverse employment action was taken against them
  • That a similarly situated employee, not within the plaintiff’s protected class, was treated better.

Once the plaintiff meets explains their evidence, the burden shifts to the defendant (employer) to articulate a “legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason” for taking the adverse employment action. If the employer meets its burden, the burden shifts back to the employee to show that the employer’s proffered reason was pretext.

To prove a disparate impact claim the plaintiff does not need to prove intent.

The plaintiff’s prima facie case must show that:

1) A neutral policy or practice is in place

2) That the plaintiff’s protected class has been adversely affected by the policy

3) Demonstrate a causal connection between the policy or practice and the adverse effect.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has adopted a “4/5 Rule” for triggering liability. For a company that requires a pre-employment test where men pass the test at a rate of 50 percent, women must pass the test at 40 percent or greater for the company’s pre-employment test to be deemed non-discriminatory.

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