A Pakistani Muslim worker sued his former employer under Title VII and New York State Human Rights Law, alleging discrimination on the basis of race, religion, and national origin. The plaintiff claimed that he was terminated for discriminatory reasons, as his supervisor made comments that the plaintiff felt were derogatory. The defendant argued that the plaintiff was terminated because of inconsistencies in his re-accreditation application to qualify him for work at the healthcare organization (as plaintiff had failed to disclose that he was suspended when working for a previous employer). The Court held that the plaintiff failed to make out a prima facie case of discrimination, and that, even if he did, the defendant had provided evidence of a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for terminating the plaintiff’s employment. Accordingly, the Court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.
Additional information. The Court applied the McDonnell Douglas Corp v. Green, 411 U.S. 782 (1973) burden-shifting test. This test requires plaintiffs to first establish a prima facie case of discrimination. If they are successful, the burden shifts back to the defendant (usually a company or a company representative) to demonstrate they it a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its actions. Finally, it then becomes the burden of the plaintiff to prove that the reason articulated by the defendant was a pretext for the true discriminatory motive.