Photo of attorneys Joey A. Chbeir and Brian O. Noble
More Than 25 Years Of Combined Experience
In Employment Law And Immigration

The Evidence Locker

Often, we hear employees with valid claims say things like, “well, there’s no evidence; it’s just my word against his.”  And our reply is always the same, “Your word, based on personal knowledge and under oath, is evidence.” Employment claims can be difficult, but there is often more evidence available than you realize. Below are some items that may assist us in evaluating, pursuing, and proving your employment case:

  • A diagram (or something similar) depicting the company or governmental agency the employee was or is employed by and all affiliated higher and lower companies or agencies
  • An organizational chart of the company depicting reporting structures, positions, and individuals holding those positions
  • All documents (this includes emails, letters, text messages, and electronic correspondence of any kind) related to the employee’s employment with particular emphasis on performance evaluations, disciplinary documents, communications related to the challenged employment decision, and any documents signed during hiring and after separation
  • The exact name of the entity that pays, paid, or would have paid the employee and supporting documentation (for example, pay stubs)
  • A detailed explanation as to why the employee or would-be employee believes he or she was subjected to a negative employment action (e.g., not hired or promoted, fired, demoted), including details about similarly situated employees who received more favorable treatment
  • Name and contact information (and company position, if a co-worker) of all people who have knowledge about, or witnessed events related to, the negative employment action
  • Name and contact information of the employer’s attorney, if any
  • List of supervisors or co-workers believed responsible for the negative employment action (e.g., the individual or board that actually made the decision and any other person believed responsible for influencing the decision)
  • A detailed description of the employee’s job title and duties in his or her position with supporting documentation
  • Earnings with supporting documentation
  • Employment policies in writing (website, posted in the workplace, in a handbook, etc.)
  • Whether severance pay was offered and taken with supporting documentation
  • Whether the employee signed anything given to him or her by the employer before, during, or after the employment (for example, an agreement to arbitrate or a waiver of rights to sue)
  • Any filings or documentation from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Labor, Union or another agency
  • The age, gender, race, religion, and disability status of the person who replaced the employee following termination or demotion, or the person who filled a position the employee sought
  • Current job or job prospects if any, along with earnings, job title and supporting documentation
  • Employee disabilities with documentation and a detailed explanation of whether the  employee needed and asked for an accommodation
  • Employment contract, if any
  • If the employee is a union member, which union, a list of leaders and their contact information, actions taken by the union, the union rules or procedures, and the collective bargaining agreement between the union, along with supporting documentation
  • Whether the employee had recently asked for benefits such as family medical leave or workers’ compensation and supporting documentation, or raised an issue concerning improper pay
  • Any correspondence between the employee (or someone on his or her behalf) and the employer related to the potential lawsuit
  • Any costs incurred by the employee as a result of the adverse employment action with supporting documentation (for example, medical bills, prescription or over-the-counter drug costs, hospital parking expenses, gas money to get to the hospital, paying a babysitter while meeting with a therapist, boarding the dogs, etc.).