1 – Mixed-Motive - The same adverse employment decision would have been taken based
on other business considerations containing no discriminatory motives.
Example - Ann Hopkins was not made a partner at the Price Waterhouse accounting firm. Some
evidence indicated that she was abrasive with staff members, a legitimate reason not to promote a person
to partner. Other evidence indicated that the selection process was influenced by gender stereotyping,
including one partner who advised her to improve her chances for partnership by stating, “Walk more
femininely, talk more femininely, dress more femininely, wear makeup, have your hair styled, and wear
jewelry.” On remand from the Supreme Court, Hopkins was awarded the partnership, back pay, and
If the employer is able to demonstrate that it would have taken the same action
absent the unlawful
motive, a court is limited to awarding attorney’s fees, costs, and declaratory relief.
However, the court may not award the plaintiff damages such as back pay;
compensatory or punitive damages; or admission, reinstatement, hiring, or
1 – Yes, the Supreme Court held that back pay should be denied only in limited
situations and for reasons that would not frustrate the purposes of Title VII.
2 - The court refused, however, to order back pay for losses sustained by the
plaintiff class under the discriminatory system on the grounds that (1) Albemarle’s
breach of Title VII was found not to have been in “bad faith” and (2) respondents
had initially disclaimed interest in back pay and delayed making their back pay
claim until five years after the complaint was filed, thereby prejudicing petitioners.
The court also refused to enjoin or limit Albemarle’s testing program, which
respondents had contended had a disproportionate adverse impact on blacks and
was not shown to be related to job performance. The court concluded that
“personnel tests administered at the plant have undergone validation studies and
have been proven to be job-related.”
3 – Yes.