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Friday, April 15, 2011

Petitioner alleging disparate treatment in violation of his or her Title VII civil rights has the initial burden of setting out a prima facie case of unlawful discrimination

Petitioner alleging disparate treatment in violation of his or her Title VII civil rights has the initial burden of setting out a prima facie case of unlawful discrimination
Wharff v State Univ. of New York, USCA, Second Circuit, 09-4534-cv

Wilfred Wharff alleged that SUNY refused to promote him from Lab Technologist to Assistant Supervisor because of his gender.

The Circuit Court said that Wharff’s disparate treatment claim pursuant to Title VII [42 USC § 2000e et seq.] was to be analyzed under the tripartite burden shifting framework laid out in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, whereby Wharff has the initial burden of establishing a prima facie case of unlawful discrimination.

Citing Malave v. Potter, 320 F.3d 321, the Circuit Court said that “To make out a prima facie case of disparate impact, a plaintiff must ‘(1) identify a policy or practice, (2) demonstrate that a disparity exists, and (3) establish a causal relationship between the two.’


If he is able to do so, the burden shifts to the employer "to articulate some legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason" for its actions.”

Finding that Wharff offered no evidence that SUNY applied its promotion procedures unfairly, that the collective bargaining agreement's sanctioning of the alternate hiring process was negotiated as a pretext for sex discrimination, or that the selection of alternatives was intentionally manipulated to accomplish such discrimination, the Court dismissed his appeal.

Further, said the court, “Even assuming that this establishes a prima facie case of discrimination, SUNY has offered a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its promotion decisions that Wharff has failed to rebut.”

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isysquery/8255044e-0961-4619-a312-4a2d3aa9000d/1/doc/
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