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Godfrey & Kahn Updates

Seventh Circuit exterminates “rat’s nest” of employment discrimination tests

October 27, 2016

Courts in the Seventh Circuit may no longer categorize evidence presented in disparate treatment employment discrimination cases as direct or indirect, and they may not reference a mosaic of any kind.

In Ortiz v. Warner Enterprises, Inc., the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected these tests and simplified the analysis that courts within its jurisdiction (Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana) must apply. Moving forward, all evidence must be considered together to answer the ultimate question:

Whether the evidence would permit a reasonable factfinder to conclude that the plaintiff’s race, ethnicity, sex, religion, or other proscribed factor caused the discharge or other adverse employment action?

For an overview of the decision and its impact on employers and employees, see our post on the American Bar Association’s blog.

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