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Prima Facie Questions

Prima facie is used by a plaintiff to avoid having their case dismissed. In a prima facie case, the plaintiff is responsible for providing evidence to support the claim and turn the burden of proof to the respondent. If the plaintiff cannot make a strong prima facie case, the opposing party will try to move to dismiss the case. If the plaintiff succeeds in producing a strong prima facie case, the respondent will then have to provide evidence that refutes the claims by the plaintiff. Below are a few questions regarding prima facie.

I worked for 10 years at Formulation Technology in Oakdale California as Quality Control. I was terminated because FDA found an error on a production order. I feel discriminated against because there were other people involved in the error and I was the only one fired. I would like to make a claim of wrongful termination based on discrimination. What are my options?

When making a claim of wrongful termination based upon discrimination, you will have to establish that discrimination has taken place. This is called a "prima facie case". To establish a prima facie case of discrimination, the employee will have to show evidence that:

1. The employee is a member of a protected class
2. The employee was meeting the expectations of his/her employer at the time of the alleged action.
3. he/she was subjected to an adverse employment action; and
4. The employer treated employees who were not in a protected class with better treatment.

Once you can establish the prima facie case, the burden will then turn to the defendant to provide a reason for the adverse employment action that doesn't involve discrimination.

If the defendant has a legitimate reason for the actions, the burden returns to the plaintiff to prove the defendants reasons are perpetual.

You can file a complaint with the EEOC if you feel like your claim is legitimate. You can file here:

The 1st part of a prima facie case for a wrongful termination claim is to prove that the employee is a member of a protected class. The defendants have all my medical records that I have but they still keep requesting more records. When is this first prong of the prima facie case satisfied so that they will stop looking where they don't belong?

This is a typical tactic when dealing with a discrimination case. Usually, the company will try to delay the case by continually requesting more information, or wear you down to the point that you are willing to give up on the claim. Every time they request more information, they are allowed time to review the evidence, find mistakes and request additional information. You may want to consider finding an employment discrimination attorney who will work on contingency (the attorney is paid a set amount in the event that you win your case) if you think they are deliberately taking their time.

I received a ticket in the mail for exceeding the "prima facie" speed limit in a parking lot, based on a citizen's complaint. I never received the ticket in person. How can they ticket me by mail? The officer admitted he wasn't even there.

There are some states that allow citizen complaints as a basis for issuing citations. However, the citizen will have to appear in court and testify in order for the citation to hold. To improve your chances of fighting the citation, you should consider hiring an attorney to represent you in court. Your attorney can demean the citizen's testimony on the grounds that the citizen had no way to determine the speed of your vehicle.

If you need to find an attorney in your state, you can go through your states referral service:

A prima facie case is a claim that alleges facts that are adequate to prove conduct that supports the action. Many people become confused when dealing with legal matters that they are unfamiliar with. If you have doubts or questions about prima facie, you should ask an Expert who can assist you with any questions that you may have.
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