NYLS Journal of Human Rights


Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins is generally considered to be the one employment decision of the 1988-89 Term which is favorable to plaintiffs. The case provides helpful authority to employees claiming discrimination in "pretext" cases. In "mixed-motive" cases, the Court ruled the burden of persuasion shifts from employee to employer. This article focuses on the potential effect of the decision on subsequent employment discrimination cases. The first section is comprised of a general overview of the principles stated in Price Waterhouse that will be important to future plaintiffs. The second section discusses the unanswered questions left by the Price Waterhouse analysis; and the final section illustrates, by reference to the case on remand, the nature of the burden once it has shifted.

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