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Workplace discrimination and similarly situated employees

Texas workers who are currently embroiled in an employment discrimination case or who are considering filing a discrimination complaint against an employer should know that a factor that is likely to be considered in their case is the employer's treatment of other similarly situated employees. They should also be aware that the definition of a similarly situated employee will vary depending on the type of legal claim made and the federal court in the case is filed.

In general, in order to be considered similarly situated to another worker, a plaintiff will have to demonstrate that the other worker is equivalent or comparable in all material respects. For class action cases, a different interpretation of a similarly situated employee might be used. To determine if the plaintiff's co-worker can be classified as a similarly situated employee, the court will carefully evaluate the facts of the case. There are certain criteria the courts will use to decide if the worker identified by the plaintiff as a similarly situated employee has been treated better.

The courts will consider if the plaintiff and the other identified worker have the same supervisor and if their positions required them to perform nearly the same quantity and type of work tasks and responsibilities. Whether or not both workers have similar performance evaluations and disciplinary records will also be a factor in addition to if both workers have the same level of experience. The more alike a plaintiff is to the other worker, the greater the likelihood that the court will consider the other worker to be similarly situated.

An attorney who practices employment law may advise clients who have suffered workplace discrimination about their legal options. If the matter can't be resolved internally, the initial step might be to file a claim with the EEOC.

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