Justia Annotations is a forum for attorneys to summarize, comment on, and analyze case law published on our site. 301, the ultimate burden of persuasion remained at all times with Hicks, 450 U. S., at 253. Supp., at 1252. A defendant who fails to answer a complaint will, on motion, suffer a default judgment that a deceitful response could have avoided. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. We think quite the opposite is true. The disproportionate minority makeup of the company's work force and the fact that its hiring officer was of the same minority group as the plaintiff will be irrelevant, because the plaintiff's case can be proved "indirectly by showing that the employer's proffered explanation is unworthy of credence. 1073, 42 U. S. C. § 1981a(c) (1988 ed., Supp. Dr. Thomas Spiro, MD is a Internal Medicine Specialist in Saint Louis, MO and has over 37 years of experience in the medical field. ); id., at 260 (WHITE, J., concurring in judgment); id., at 270 (O'CONNOR, J., concurring in judgment); 4 Contrary to the dissent's confusion-producing analysis, post, at 535536, there is nothing whatever inconsistent between this statement and our later statements that (1) the plaintiff must show" both that the reason was false, and that discrimination was the real reason," infra, at 515, and (2) "it is not enough ... to disbelieve the employer," infra, at 519. Stat. But a reason cannot be proved to be "a pretext for discrimination" unless it is shown both that the reason was false, and that discrimination was the real reason. Petitioner St. Mary's Honor Center (St. Mary's) is a halfway house operated by the Missouri Department of Corrections and Human Resources (MDCHR). 450 U. S., at 253. Argued April 20, 1993-Decided June 25,1993. If the trier of fact could not consider other explanations, employers' autonomy would be curtailed far beyond what is needed to rectify the discrimination identified by Congress. In this regard it operates like all presumptions, as described in Federal Rule of Evidence 301: "In all civil actions and proceedings not otherwise provided for by Act of Congress or by these rules, a presumption imposes on the party against whom it is directed the burden of going forward with evidence to rebut or meet the presumption, but does not shift to such party the burden of proof in the sense of the risk of nonpersuasion, which remains throughout the trial upon the party on whom it was originally cast. To the extent that workers like Melvin Hicks decide not to sue, given the uncertainties they would face under the majority's scheme, the legislative purpose in adopting Title VII will be frustrated. No. Rather, once the defendant has responded to the plaintiff's prima facie case, "[t]he district court has before it all the evidence it needs to decide" not (as the dissent would have it) whether defendant's response is credible, but "whether the defendant intentionally discriminated against the plaintiff." ", In the nature of things, the determination that a defendant has met its burden of production (and has thus rebutted any legal presumption of intentional discrimination) can involve no credibility assessment. of Governors v. Aikens, 460 U. S. 711, 714. e., has failed to introduce evidence which, taken as true, would permit the conclusion that there was a nondiscriminatory reason for the adverse action. 1. Under the majority's scheme, however, such employers, when faced with proof of a prima facie case of discrimination, still must carry the burden of producing evidence that a challenged employment action was taken for a nondiscriminatory reason. At SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital's Wound Care Center, we offer advanced wound treatment. 568-569 (1977). Because the Court thus naturally declines to rely entirely on dismissing our prior directives as dicta, it turns to the task of interpreting our prior cases in this area, in particular Burdine. Ibid. The District Court, acting as trier of fact in this bench trial, found that the reasons petitioners gave were not the real reasons for respondent's demotion and discharge. Learn more! These two efforts are intertwined, for Burdine tells us specifically how a plaintiff can prove either "pretext" or "pretext for discrimination"; "either directly by persuading the court that a discriminatory reason more likely motivated the employer or indirectly by showing that the employer's proffered explanation is unworthy of credence." 1 D. Louisell & C. Mueller, Federal Evidence § 67, p. 536 (1977). St. Mary's, in this case, used this opportunity to provide two reasons for its treatment of Hicks: the severity and accumulation of rule infractions he had allegedly committed. 450 U. S., at 254. But it would be beneath contempt for this Court, in a unanimous opinion no less, to play such word games with the concept of "leaving the burden of persuasion upon the plaintiff." 460 U. S., at 716. Mission Statement. The Hon. Saint Mary’s latest expansion is the Saint Mary’s University Center, which includes the historic mansion, carriage house, modern events center, and 100 parking spaces, encompassing 1.66 acres at 2540 Park Avenue. In fact, the District Court did not find that personal animosity (which it failed to recognize might be racially moti-. 450 U. S., at 258 (internal quotation marks omitted); see id., at 256 (the plaintiff "must have the opportunity to demonstrate" pretext); Aikens, supra, at 716, n. 5; Furnco, 438 U. S., at 578; McDonnell Douglas, 411 U. S., at 805. The dissent is thus left with a position that has no support in the statute, no support in the reason of the matter, no support in any holding of this Court (that is not even contended), and support, if at all, only in the dicta of this Court's opinions. St Marys Health Center is a group practice with 1 location. 12 The Court is unrealistically concerned about the rare case in which an employer cannot easily turn to one of its employees for an explanation of a personnel decision. The Court of Appeals erred when it concluded that the trier of fact's disbelief of petitioners' proffered reasons placed petitioners in the same position as if they had remained silent in the face of Hicks' prima facie case of. It is important to note, however, that although the McDonnell Douglas presumption shifts the burden of production to the defendant, "[t]he ultimate burden of persuading the trier of fact that the defendant intentionally discriminated against the plaintiff remains at all times with the plaintiff." It is this practical coercion which causes the McDonnell Douglas presumption to function as a means of "arranging the presentation of evidence," Watson v. Fort Worth Bank & Trust, 487 U. S. 977, 986 (1988). 1071. It is to those that we now turn-begrudgingly, since we think it generally undesirable, where holdings of the Court are not at issue, to dissect the sentences of the United States Reports as though they were the United States Code. 6 The majority puts forward what it calls "a more reasonable reading" of this passage, ante, at 517, but its chosen interpretation of the "merger" that occurs is flatly contradicted by the very next sentence in Burdine, which indicates, as the majority subsequently admits, ante, at 517, that the burden of persuasion is limited to the question of pretext. denied, 469 U. S. 1087 (1984); Lopez v. Metropolitan Life Ins. 10 Under the Court's unlikely interpretation of the "new level of specificity" called for by Burdine (and repeated in Aikens, see 460 U. S., at 715), the issues facing the plaintiff and the court can be discovered anywhere in the evidence the parties have introduced concerning discriminatory motivation. St Marys Health Center. See ante, at 513. 411 U. S., at 804. The Marian Chapter of the National Honor Society at St. Mary’s High School inducted 23 new members in a ceremony recently held at the school. Our cases make clear that at that point the shifted burden of production became irrelevant: "If the defendant carries this burden of production, the presumption raised by the prima facie case is rebutted," Burdine, 450 U. S., at 255, and "drops from the case," id., at 255, n. 10. Surely nothing short of inescapable prior holdings (the dissent does not pretend there are any) should make one assume that this is the law we have created. The St. Mary’s Honors Program curriculum spans eight courses, beginning and ending with philosophy and including courses in the social and natural sciences, aesthetics and theology. YP - The Real Yellow PagesSM - helps you find the right local businesses to meet your specific needs. Ante, at 534. An applicant, who is a member of that group, applies for an opening for which he is minimally qualified, but is rejected by a hiring officer of that same minority group, and the search to fill the opening continues. To say that the company which in good faith. The notion that every reasonable employer keeps "personnel records" on people who never became personnel, showing why they did not become personnel (i. e., in what respects all other people who were hired were better) seems to us highly fanciful-or for the sake of American business we hope it is. averments in the complaint will, on motion, suffer a judgment on the pleadings that untruthful denials could have avoided. Id., at 254; see ante, at 510, n. 3 (in these circumstances, the factfinder "must find the existence of the presumed fact of unlawful discrimination and must, therefore, render a verdict for the plaintiff") (emphasis in original). Find information on SSM Health St Mary's Hospital Screening Center in St Louis, MO. The St. Mary’s University Alumni Association will honor graduates Sara E. Dysart (B.A. The possibility of some practical procedure for addressing what Burdine calls indirect proof is crucial to the success of most Title VII claims, for the simple reason that employers who discriminate are not likely to announce their discriminatory motive. In addition to it's general population, St. Marys Correctional Center is responsible for housing inmates who are chronically ill and considered geriatric. *Briefs of amici curiae urging reversal were filed for the Chamber of Commerce of the United States by Stephen A. Bokat, Robin S. Conrad, and Mona C. Zeiberg; for the Equal Employment Advisory Council by Robert E. Williams and Douglas S. McDowell; for the National Association of Manufacturers by Glen D. Nager and Jan S. Amundson; and for the Washington Legal Foundation et al. Id., at 254-255, and n. 8. "Under the scheme announced today, any conceivable explanation for the employer's actions that might be suggested by the evidence, however unrelated to the employer's articulated reasons, must be addressed by [the] plaintiff." 970 F. 2d, at 491. However, as in the case of all presumptions, see Fed. Even if such "personnel records" do exist, it is a mockery of justice to say that if the jury believes the reason they set forth is probably not the "true" one, all the other utterly compelling evidence that discrimination was not the reason will then be excluded from the jury's consideration. Id., at 255. The factfinder's disbelief of the reasons put forward by the defendant (particularly if disbelief is accompanied by a suspicion of mendacity) may, together with the elements of the prima facie case, suffice to show intentional discrimination. 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