McDonnell Douglas Framework Law and Legal Definition
McDonnell Douglas Framework is a term of American employment and human rights law that refers to a preliminary legal requirement for proving employment discrimination. It says an adverse employment decision complained of is no more likely than not motivated by discrimination. The standard was set in the case McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (U.S. 1973) from where the name is derived.
The following is an example of a caselaw discussing McDonnell Douglas Framework:
A plaintiff may avoid summary judgment by establishing that the employer's proffered reasons for termination were a "pretext" for unlawful discrimination. This is accomplished according to the burden-shifting framework set out by the United States Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas. Under this scheme, the plaintiff must first establish a prima facie case of discrimination. To establish a prima facie case against a defendant, the plaintiff must show that the adverse employment decision of which she complains was more likely than not motivated by discrimination. Thus, a plaintiff must demonstrate that (1) she is a member of a protected class; (2) she suffered an adverse employment action; (3) she was performing her job duties at a level that met her employer's legitimate expectations at the time of the adverse employment action; and (4) the position remained open or was filled by similarly qualified applicants outside the protected class. If the plaintiff establishes a prima facie case, the burden of articulating a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the adverse employment action shifts to the defendant-employer. If the employer provides such a reason, the presumption of unlawful discrimination created by the prima facie case drops out of the picture, and the burden shifts back to the plaintiff to demonstrate that the reason proffered by the employer was merely a pretext for discrimination. The plaintiff bears the ultimate burden of proving that the employer intentionally discriminated against him throughout the inquiry. [Salter v. Alltel Communs., Inc., 407 F. Supp. 2d 730 (E.D.N.C. 2005)]