In a case of first-impression, the Sixth Circuit held that the burden-shifting framework (commonly referred to as the McDonnell Douglas/Burdine test) used in cases brought under Title VII does not apply to Title VII mixed-motive cases.  The Court held that in order to survive a defendant’s summary judgment motion, a Title VII plaintiff asserting a mixed-motive claim must only produce evidence that: (1) the defendant took an adverse employment action against the plaintiff; and (2) race, color, religion, sex, or national origin was a motivating factor.  A plaintiff can succeed by showing that a protected characteristic was a motivating factor even if other factors also motivated the adverse action.  White v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., 2008 FED App. 0242P, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS  14188 (6th Cir. 2008).
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Announces Summary Judgment Standard For Title VII Mixed-Motive Cases