Dunlap V. Tennessee Valley Authority Essay

1065 Words May 21st, 2011 5 Pages
Dunlap v. Tennessee Valley Authority
Joyce Harrison
Business Employment Law
May 11, 2011

1. What were the legal issues in this case? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit was to determine if the plaintiff, David Dunlap Dunlap, had met the burden of proof that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by intentionally discriminating against him under both disparate impact and disparate treatment analyses and whether the TVA appeal to the District Court erred in each of these analyses could be legally supported to reverse their decision FindLaw, 2011). David Dunlap brought suit under Title VII, alleging racial discrimination by the TVA.
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3. Explain why the plaintiff’s disparate treatment claim succeeded.

The disparate treatment doctrine requires a plaintiff to demonstrate that an employer has treated some people less favorably than others because of their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Three provisions required to prove disparate treatment are (1) the plaintiff must establish a prima facie case of racial discrimination; (2) the employer must articulate some legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its actions, and (3) the plaintiff must prove that the stated reason was in fact pretextual. Proof of discriminatory motive is critical and may be inferred from the mere fact of differences in treatment. Proof may also be inferred from the falsity of the employer’s explanation for the treatment, (Walsh, 2010).

Mr. Dunlap successfully established a prima facie case of disparate treatment by meeting the above 3 provisions; (1) he was African-American; (2) he was qualified for the position sought; and (3) white applicants with less experience were hired for 9 of the 10 open jobs. TVA attempted to rebut his claim by offering the selection matrix used during his interview as evidence to prove that he didn’t rank as one of the top 10 applicants due to his interview scores. However, Mr. Dunlap was able to refute TVA’s claim by demonstrating that his matrix score was manipulated to keep him out of top 10, thus proving it was merely a
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