© Copy right by EEO 21, LLC
148 East Street Road, Suite 321, Feasterville, PA, U.S.A.
How To Prepare for a Deposition - continued
The Why Questions:

Most difficult and usually most important questions are the “why” questions.  In particular, the
following question, in my opinion, is important: “Why do you think you were discriminated against
based on or because of your sex/age/race/disability/religion?”   A good answer is: “So and so was
not disciplined or cited even though he received more customer complaints than I did” or
something to that affect.  In short, you answer by comparing yourself against the others in the
comparable situation or rank (“the similarly situated individuals”), and by showing your supervisor’
s disparate or more favorable treatment toward them than toward you under similar
circumstances.  

The following question should be objected to, even though it is similar to the one just mentioned:
“Do you have a direct evidence or hard evidence to prove that you were discriminated against
based on or because of your sex/race/age/disability?”  This question is objectionable because it
asks for a direct evidence.  Nowadays no one says to you that you are not, say, hired because you
are female or black.  If a manager said that on record, that would be a direct evidence.  You won’t
get such an evidence nowadays.  Usually discrimination is proven by circumstantial evidence, not
direct evidence.  That’s why the question is objectionable.  Plus, you are not supposed to be able
to know what constitutes a circumstantial evidence.  

Circumstantial evidence in discrimination case is evidence showing disparate treatments by a
manager between you and the comparable employees in the similar circumstances (“the similarly
situated”).   Since discrimination is treating others more favorably than you based on race, sex,
age, disability, religion, national origin, etc., you must show how others were treated in comparison
to you.  What were the reasons given to you by the manager, when you were disciplined or not
hired?  And did the stated reason also apply to others in similar situations?  If so, how did the
manager act toward them?

Misleading Questions:

If you don't like part of the Q or the answer to a part of the question is No, then the answer should
be No for the whole question, even though the answer to other part of the question may be Yes.  
Such questions are compounded or misleading questions and should not have been posed in the
first place, or should be objected to.  For example, consider the following misleading and thus
objectionable question: “Did you notify your supervisor about the harassment, even though you
knew it to be a false allegation?” should be answered No if you believe the allegation to be true,
even though you did notify your supervisor about it.  You may want to add: “I knew it to be true and I
did report it.”  

The When Questions:

One of the most frequently asked questions is “when?”  You should prepare so that you can
answer the “when” questions on important events in the case.  However, if you don’t remember the
exact date, say the month.  If not month, say the season (fall, summer, winter, etc.).  If not season,
then the year.  “Sometime between 2003 and 2004” is a better answer than “I don’t remember.”  Or
“prior to my reporting the harassment” or “before I received the PIP” is better than “I don’t know
when.”  People love to tell stories without a single mention of the date it happened.  A fact cannot
be established if you don’t anchor it with a date.  Statements without dates can easily be
characterized as “general” or “vague” and as such can easily be dismissed.  
Previous          More
    EEO 21, LLC
    EEOC hearings
    EEO representation
    MSPB appeal hearings
    Federal employment discrimination specialist