Friday, August 20, 2004

Weak prima facie case plus weak evidence of pretext equals summary judgment for employer

In Price v. Thompson, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Senior Judge Bowman from the Eighth Circuit, joined by Chief Judge Wilkins and Judge Niemeyer, affirmed summary judgment for the employer in a case where the Reeves test was applied to measure the evidence of pretext in refusing to hire the plaintiff.

In Reeves v. Sanderson, decided in 2000, the Supreme Court adopted what some call the "pretext-maybe" standard, for dealing with summary judgment or judgment as a matter of law in cases that are subject to the shifting burdens and inferences under the McDonnell Douglas test for proving discriminatory motive.

There's a good review of Fourth Circuit cases in this opinion, even though it was not written by a Fourth Circuit regular.

No comments: