Shifting Burden of Proof In Title Vll Cases

The burden of proof always begins with the indivdual that brings a charge of improper conduct. In civil cases s(he) is called the plaintiff. The burden comes with a responsibily to show certain evidence. Showing of the evidence shifts the burden to the other party who now as a responsibility if s(he) is to shift the burden back. This is how evidence is presented and when it is all over, the judge or jury makes a decision about whose arguments are supported by the facts and the law.

This information is essential to HR professionals because it allows them to determine the liability of the company when a charge of illegal discrimination arises. It may be of interest to you because it allows you to determine if you, perhaps were the victim of illegal discrimination. Understand? If not maybe a forum post would get clarification. Or an e-mail.


Type of discrimination>



(McDonnell-Doug. v Green)


(Griggs v Duke Power)

Plantiff's Burden to show

*a member of a protected class

*applied and was qualified


*job remained open to similiar candidates

unequal impact of practice

Defendant's Burden

state a legitimate non discrim- inatory reason for rejection

show that the practice really selects better qualified canidates. - demonstrate job related ness

Plaintiff's Burden

Show the defendants explanation is pretext/false;

prior treatment? treatment of other protected classes?

Rebut or show a less discriminatory alternative