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Labor and Employment Law

2016

Employment discrimination

Articles by Maurer Faculty

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Same-Actor Inference Of Nondiscrimination: Moral Credentialing And The Psychological And Legal Licensing Of Bias, Victor D. Quintanilla, Cheryl R. Kaiser Jan 2016

The Same-Actor Inference Of Nondiscrimination: Moral Credentialing And The Psychological And Legal Licensing Of Bias, Victor D. Quintanilla, Cheryl R. Kaiser

Articles by Maurer Faculty

One of the most egregious examples of the tension between federal employment discrimination law and psychological science is the federal common law doctrine known as the same-actor inference.

When originally elaborated by the Fourth Circuit in Proud v. Stone, the same-actor doctrine applied only when an “employee was hired and fired by the same person within a relatively short time span.” In the two decades since, the doctrine has widened and broadened in scope. It now subsumes many employment contexts well beyond hiring and firing, to scenarios in which the “same person” entails different groups of decision makers, and the ...