Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
A plaintiff can establish a prima facie case of retaliatory discharge under the opposition clause of § 704(a) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.S. § 200e-3, if he shows that he had a reasonable belief that the employer was engaged in unlawful employment practices.
This is a Title VII action alleging that in early 1971, defendant McLemore's Wholesale & Retail Stores, Inc. failed to rehire plaintiff Charles Payne because of his participation in activities protected by section 704(a) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e-3(a). The district court concluded that plaintiff successfully carried his ultimate burden of proving discrimination. The district court found that Payne established a prima facie case of discrimination under section 704(a) by showing that the employer's failure to rehire Payne was caused by Payne’s participation in boycott and picketing activities in opposition to an unlawful employment practice of McLemore's Wholesale & Retail Stores. In addition, the district court found that Payne proved that the employer's proffered explanation for its failure to rehire Payne, that Payne failed to reapply for a job with the employer, was merely pretextual.
Did the district court err in finding that Payne established a prima facie case of discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
The court held that Payne was not required to prove the existence of the unlawful employment practices because he had a reasonable belief that McLemore's Wholesale & Retail Stores had engaged in the unlawful practices.