Race-based workplace discrimination is generally illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but it occurs far too often in New York and around the country. For affected employees who choose to file a lawsuit, it may be appropriate to include a similarly situated employee when establishing a pattern of discrimination.
A similarly situated employee is a fellow worker who can be reasonably compared with the plaintiff. If the court were to accept the identification of a similarly situated employee in a race discrimination case, then the worker would need to meet some criteria. First, the plaintiff and the similarly situated employee should work under the same supervisor. Second, the two should share similar duties in the workplace. Third, evaluations and disciplinary history for the two employees should be similar. Finally, the two workers should have about the same amount of experience.
It is important to note that while these criteria are important, not all of them must be met for a court to accept the introduction of a similarly situated employee. Moreover, depending on the court, it is not always necessary to identify a similarly situated employee in a discrimination case. While it may be helpful to a plaintiff's case , it is not required. In any case, it is vital that plaintiffs identify a similarly situated employee in their case as early as possible so that their attorneys can obtain pertinent information during discovery.
When individuals experience racism in the workplace, they may want to identify a similarly situated employee who was treated better to support their case. Individuals in this situation may discover that a consultation with an attorney could be beneficial.