Saturday, December 28, 2013

Texas Department of Community Affairs v. Burdine case brief

Texas Department of Community Affairs v. Burdine case brief summary
450 U.S. 248 (1981)

Plaintiff employee appealed from a judgment of the appeals court reversing the judgment of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, finding that defendant employer had not sufficiently rebutted employee's prima facie case of gender discrimination.

The employer hired the employee for the position of accounting clerk. The employee alleged that the employer's failure to promote and subsequent decision to terminate her had been predicated on gender discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.S. § 2000e et seq.


  • The appellate court reversed the trial court's finding that the employer had rebutted the prima facie case of gender discrimination. 
  • The court held that the appellate court erred by requiring the employer to prove by a preponderance of the evidence the existence of nondiscriminatory reasons for terminating the employee and that the person retained instead had superior objective qualifications for the position. 
  • The employer bore only the burden of explaining clearly the nondiscriminatory reasons for its actions when the employee proved a prima facie case of discrimination.
The judgment of the appellate court was vacated, and the case was remanded for further proceeding consistent with the court's opinion.

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