EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; DISCRIMINATION – In General; Elements of Prima Facie Case
Single Topic for Decision 2337E
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501.01000 – In General; Elements of Prima Facie Case
To establish a prima facie case of retaliation in violation of EERA section 3543.5(a), the charging party must show that: (1) the employee exercised rights guaranteed by EERA; (2) the employer had knowledge of the employee’s exercise of those rights; (3) the employer took action against or adverse to the interest of the employee; and (4) the employer acted because of the employee’s exercise of the guaranteed rights. Unlawful motive is the specific nexus required in the establishment of a prima facie case of retaliation. Direct proof of motivation is rarely possible, since motivation is a state of mind which may be known only to the actor. Thus, unlawful motive can be established by circumstantial evidence and inferred from the record as a whole. Our statutes protect the right of at-will and probationary employees to engage in protected activity and to be free of discrimination or retaliation therefor.