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Unformatted text preview: ted to the McDonnell-Douglas
approach. Under that approach, a plaintiff must first establish a prima facie case of
discriminatory [**6] adverse employment action. The linchpin of the plaintiff's prima
facie case is evidence of disparate treatment between members of the plaintiff's protected
class and nonmembers. This disparate treatment creates at least an inference of
discriminatory intent, and the burden then shifts to the employer to put forth a legitimate
nondiscriminatory reason for its actions. Finally, if the employer comes up with such a
reason, the plaintiff must be [*515] able to show a triable issue as to whether it is a mere
pretext offered to mask the employer's true discriminatory animus.
In McDonnell-Douglas, the Supreme Court addressed a claim of discriminatory hiring. In
order to establish a prima facie case for discrimination the plaintiff had to show "(i) that
he belongs to a racial minority; (ii) that he applied and was qualified for a job for which
the employer was seeking applicants; (iii) that, despite his qualifications, he was rejected;
and (iv) that, after his rejection, the position remained open and the employer continued
to seek applicants from persons of complainant's qualifications." McDonnell-Douglas,
411 U.S. at 802. In McDonnell-Douglas and subsequent cases the Court has [**7] made
it clear that the prima facie case cannot be used by rote but must be adapted to fit the
varying facts of discrimination cases. See McDonnell-Douglas, 411 U.S. at 802 n.13;
Texas Dep't of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 253-54 n.6, 67 L. Ed. 2d
207, 101 S. Ct. 1089 (1981). In discriminatory discharge cases, for example, a plaintiff
generally meets the prima facie burden if she establishes that (1) she is a member of a
protected class, (2) she was doing her work well enough to meet her employer's
legitimate expectations, (3) despite her performance, she was discharged, and (4) her
employer sought a replacement for her. See Hong v. Children's Mem'l Hosp., 993 F.2d
1257 (7th Cir. 1993).
PTG zeroes in on the second prong of this prima facie case and argues that Flores was n...
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2012 for the course ENC 102 taught by Professor Deria during the Spring '08 term at FIU.
- Spring '08