EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; DEFENSES – Legitimate Business Purpose/Business Necessity

Single Topic for Decision 2654E

View all topics for Decision 2654E

Full Decision Text (click on the link to view): Full Text

505.11000 – Legitimate Business Purpose/Business Necessity

Once a charging party establishes a prima facie case of discrimination or retaliation, the respondent must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that it would have taken the same adverse action even if the employee had not engaged in the protected activity. The employer must establish both that it had an alternative, non-discriminatory reason for taking the adverse action, and that its proffered reason was, in fact, the actual reason for taking the adverse action. (p. 16.) The outcome of a discrimination or retaliation case is determined by the weight of the evidence supporting each party’s position. (p. 17.) Once the charging party establishes its prima facie case, PERB weighs the evidence supporting the employer’s alternative, non-discriminatory reason justification for the adverse action against the evidence of the employer’s unlawful motivation. (pp. 16-17.) The fact that an employer takes adverse action in response to protected activity does not then preclude it from proving that it was motivated by other non-discriminatory reasons and would have taken the same action even absent the protected conduct. (p. 17.)