Law Notes - Exam 1

Law Notes - Exam 1 - Discrimination How a discrimination...

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Discrimination How a discrimination case works: 1. Plaintiff has the burden of proof and must prove that they have a prima facie case of discrimination. If he/she can prove a prima facie case, then they have created a “rebuttable presumption.” 2. Defendant then has the burden of production. They must produces/articulate some nondiscriminatory reason for the action taken, but they do not need to prove this. (The burden of persuasion always rests with the plaintiff.) 3. Burdine and Hicks come in here: a. Burdine: Plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s proffered reasons are unworthy of belief and that they are a pretext for discrimination. If he/she proves the pretext, then he/she wins the case. b. Hicks: If jury doesn’t believe the defendant’s proffered reasons, then they can infer discrimination—but they don’t have to—and it may or may not go back to the plaintiff. Burdine says: Plaintiff can win the case (automatic victory) in one of two ways: 1. Prove that discrimination occurred and was the reason for the action taken 2. Prove pretext—that the defendant’s proffered nondiscriminatory actions are unworthy of belief Burdine is employee-friendly and creates false positives Hicks says: Hicks is the law! 1. Plaintiff can only win by providing actual evidence that discrimination occurred and was the real reason for the action taken 2. Pretext doesn’t mean victory: if plaintiff doesn’t have evidence that the defendant’s proffered reason is pretextual, then the jury is free to infer discrimination—but doesn’t have to Hicks is employer-friendly and creates false negatives How to prove a prima facie case of discrimination: If you were not hired (or not promoted): 1. You are in a protected class 2. You were minimally qualified and applied for the position 3. You were not hired or promoted 4. The position remained open or was filled by someone outside of your protected class If you were fired (or demoted):
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1. You are in a protected class 2. You were minimally qualified for the position you were in 3. You were fired or demoted 4. Someone else in a similar situation received different treatment Mixed Motive If plaintiff is trying to prove discrimination, then he/she wants a mixed motive jury instruction Applies only to Title VII On the exam: If there is no evidence of discrimination, it’s Burdine and Hicks If there is evidence of discrimination, it’s mixed motive Plaintiff doesn’t have to prove that the defendant discriminated based on sex/gender/whatever—just that it was a motivating factor. If plaintiff fails to prove that it was motivating factor, then the case is closed and the defendant prevails. (Defendant never wins. Once they’re in the game, they lose. They can only prevail.) If plaintiff does prove that it was a motivating factor, then the defendant must prove that they would have made the same decision regardless of sex/race/whatever. o
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2012 for the course HADM 3387 at Cornell.

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Law Notes - Exam 1 - Discrimination How a discrimination...

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