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What does prima facie mean?

Best Lawyer Answer: Prima facie is a Latin term used in the law to mean “sufficient to establish a fact or raise a presumption unless disproved or rebutted.” The term “prima facie” is an adjective that often precedes the terms “case” and “evidence.”

What is a prima facie case?

Best Attorney Answer: A prima facie case usually refers to the elements of a particular that must be shown through evidence to create a legally required rebuttable presumption. The term has been used interchangeably with the “elements of a claim.” The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit explained that “a prima facie case is defined as ‘sufficient evidence in the type of case to get plaintiff past a motion for directed verdict in a jury case or motion to dismiss in a nonjury case; it is the evidence necessary to require defendant to proceed with his case.’” E.E.O.C. v. Avery Dennison Corp., 104 F.3d 858, 861 (6th Cir. 1997)(quoting Black’s Law Dictionary 1190 (6th ed. 1990)).

What is prima facie evidence?

Best Ohio Lawyer Answer: Prima facie evidence is such evidence establishes a particular claim unless contradictory evidence is produced. Typically, the plaintiff will have the burden of proof to present evidence on each of the prima facie elements of a claim to avoid the case being dismissed before being presented to a jury. If there is a dispute or conflicting evidence challenging the credibility of prima facie evidence, it is proper for the judge to permit the trier of fact, which is typically a jury, to resolve this issue. The jury will decide whose version of the evidence is more likely believed. This is called the preponderance of the evidence.

What happens if a plaintiff only presents evidence on some but not all of the prima facie elements of the case?

Best Lawyer Near Me Answer: In that circumstance, the party with the burden of proof will lose. A plaintiff must present evidence on all prima facie elements.

What are examples of prima facie cases?

Best Employment Lawyer Answer: It is important to remember that every different legal cause of action has a different prima facie. That is why it is critical that you consult with qualified legal counsel regarding your own personal legal issues. For the purposes of providing examples, I will use prima facie claims for Title VII of the Civil Rights Act claims. Title VII prevents employer from discriminating against employees or taking adverse actions against them based on their race/color, religion, gender/sex (including pregnancy and LGBTQ+ status), national origin, age, and disability status. Note that even within Title VII, there are different prima facie claims:

In Cline v. Cath. Diocese of Toledo, 206 F.3d 651, 658 (6th Cir. 2000), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that a pregnancy discrimination “claim requires that the plaintiff first establish a prima facie case of unlawful discrimination by showing that 1) she was pregnant, 2) she was qualified for her job, 3) she was subjected to an adverse employment decision, and 4) there is a nexus between her pregnancy and the adverse employment decision.”

In Nguyen v. City of Cleveland, 229 F.3d 559, 562–63 (6th Cir. 2000), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that “to establish a prima facie case of racial discrimination based upon a failure to promote, the plaintiff must demonstrate that: (1) he is a member of a protected class; (2) he applied for and was qualified for a promotion, (3) he was considered for and denied the promotion; and (4) other employees of similar qualifications who were not members of the protected class received promotions at the time the plaintiff’s request for promotion was denied. Alternatively, a plaintiff can establish a prima facie case by presenting direct evidence of discriminatory intent.” (Citations omitted).

In Sharma v. Ohio State Univ., 25 F. App’x 243, 247 (6th Cir. 2001), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held: “to establish a prima facie case, the plaintiff must show that: (1) he is a member of a protected class; (2) he was subject to an adverse employment action; (3) he was qualified; and (4) he was treated less favorably than a similarly situated employee outside of the protected class.”

Is the burden to prove a prima facie employment discrimination case hard?

Best Employment Law Attorney Answer: The prima facie requirement for making a Title VII claim “is not onerous,” Texas Dep’t of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 253, 101 S.Ct. 1089, 67 L.Ed.2d 207 (1981). Indeed, several courts have held that the prima facie case in a Title VII claim is  “a burden easily met.” Wrenn v. Gould, 808 F.2d 493, 500 (6th Cir.1987). The prima facie phase “merely serves to raise a rebuttable presumption of discrimination by ‘eliminat[ing] the most common nondiscriminatory reasons for the” employer’s actions against the employee. Hollins v. Atlantic Co., 188 F.3d 652, 659 (6th Cir.1999)(quoting Burdine, 450 U.S. at 253–54, 101 S.Ct. 1089). It is “only the first stage of proof in a Title VII case,” and its purpose is simply to “force [a] defendant to proceed with its case.” EEOC v. Avery Dennison Corp., 104 F.3d 858, 861–62 (6th Cir.1997).

What happens when an employee presents a prima facie case of discrimination?

Best Wrongful Termination Lawyer Answer: “Establishment of the prima facie case in effect creates a presumption that the employer unlawfully discriminated against the employee.” Burdine, supra, at 254, 101 S.Ct., at 1094. Because the presentation of prima facie evidence on all elements creates “a required conclusion in the absence of explanation,” the burden shifts to the employer defendant to present evidence of such a legal explanation, i.e., that the adverse employment actions were taken “for a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason.” Burdine, 450 U.S., at 254, 101 S.Ct., at 1094. At this stage, “the defendant must clearly set forth, through the introduction of admissible evidence, reasons for its actions which, if believed by the trier of fact, would support a finding that unlawful discrimination was not the cause of the employment action.” St. Mary’s Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, 509 U.S. 502, 506–07, 113 S. Ct. 2742, 2747, 125 L. Ed. 2d 407 (1993). Once the employer does so, the employee can show that this reason is false or otherwise did not actually motivate the employer, which employment lawyers call pretext. (Best Law Read: Employment Discrimination Question: What Is Pretext?)

How do I sue my employer?

Best Employment Lawyer Answer: If you are searching “I need a lawyer because I have been wrongfully fired or terminated;” or “I have been discriminated against or harassed based on my …” race, national origin, gender, age, religion or disability; or even think that you might need an employment lawyer, then it would be best to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Call our lawyers in Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Toledo and Cincinnati to get help now. Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm and its experienced attorneys are dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.


This legal website for employees is an advertisement. The legal opinions available at the top of this page and at this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “How do I win a lawsuit against my employer”, “What are the elements of a race discrimination case,” “My boss fired me today because I’m pregnant” or “How do I sue for sexual harassment.”, it would be best for to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular employment law issue or problem. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.

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