In describing the parties’ burdens under Title VII proof paradigms, the Court’s opinion in
this case employed shorthand that is inaccurate and could prove mischievous. In particular, the
Court used the terms “single motive” and “sole motive” to distinguish cases that are not suited to
a partial affirmative defense to damages, from those cases in which the defense may be asserted.
In cases in which an affirmative defense is permitted, the employer has the burden of proving that
the “same decision” would have been made in the absence of bias. Regardless of the availability
of the defense, however, the plaintiff does not have – and never has had – the burden to prove that discrimination was the employer’s “single” or “sole” motive. The Court’s language choice could
inaccurately be read to have altered the plaintiff’s burden when attempting to prove an employer discriminated “because of” race or another protected characteristic. Amicus respectfully urges this Court to revise its opinion to avoid reliance on the terms “single motive” or “sole motive” to
describe cases where the “same decision” affirmative defense is unavailable.
Looking for an Employment Lawyer?
Use MWELA’s Find A Lawyer search, in the left navigation bar. Select a practice area: the search will provide you with 10 names randomly selected from MWELA members who practice in that area and who have paid an additional fee to be listed in the search directory. The search results include the name, address, phone number, email address, website, and practice areas of attorneys who meet your search criteria. Note that more than 10 members may practice in any given area; additional searches may yield additional names.
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Welcome to the Web site of MWELA — the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association. We are about 300 lawyers who represent people in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
As advocates for employee rights and civil rights, we work to protect the rights and privileges of employees in both the private and public sectors of the Washington metropolitan area workforce. We are dedicated to promoting workplace fairness and the right of employees to work in an environment free of discrimination. MWELA provides assistance, support and resources to members throughout the metropolitan area to attain the highest ideals of practice and encourage the sharing of expertise and skills to best serve our clients.
On our vibrant and active listserve, MWELA members share strategies, tips, and responses to queries regarding both routine and novel employment law issues. The listserve is also available as an on-line searchable database, a powerful research tool.
MWELA holds monthly Brown Bag gatherings featuring presentations on trial strategies and techniques, emerging employment law issues, use of new courtroom technologies, successful litigation efforts, and other matters critical to a successful employment law practice.
Our Moot Court Committee regularly prepares our members for oral argument before appellate courts. MWELA's Amicus Committee produces thoughtful and excellent briefs on important policy matters before the courts of appeals, lending a powerful persuasive voice for the plaintiff and for employees generally. MWELA produces a monthly Newsletter covering member news, victories, and key decisions.
At our all-day Annual Conference, MWELA presents local and federal judges, colleagues, and outside experts on topics concerning all aspects of the plaintiff's employment practice. We also present our annual Lawyer of the Year award.
MWELA maintains an on-line Brief Bank, with ready arguments, briefs, and pleadings. MWELA works toward changes in public policy through the lobbying efforts of our members, to strengthen anti-discrimination and related workplace laws.
MWELA Case Advisory service offers two programs to both MWELA members and non-members. One is a Three-member Clinic Panel, which reviews a lawyer’s case either before it is filed or after it is pending and possibly encountering difficulties. The other is a Single Advisor Legal Consultation where an experienced MWELA attorney provides advice and tips on a particular topic to a less experienced lawyer. Topics may include areas of substantive law and procedure, litigation and trial practice, appeals, settlement agreements, and particular Court and administrative forums with which a lawyer may be unfamiliar.
MWELA is the local affiliate of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). NELA and its 68 state and local affiliates have more than 3,000 members. We strongly encourage our members to join NELA. For more information, please contact Ms. Colleen Goodin, Membership Director, NELA, (415) 296-7629 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or go to www.nela.org for an application. MWELA members receive a discount on NELA dues.
MWELA members can access our brief bank, listserve and newsletter archives, board meeting information, and other resources. If you are a lawyer and devote a majority of your employment practice to representing plaintiffs, join us.