In the legal world, the term «pretext» refers to fabricated reasons or lies used to hide the true motivations behind the initiation of legal proceedings. An example of an unlawful pretext is that of a police officer conducting an illegal search and seizure of a person`s vehicle. He can say he stopped the person because he had a taillight, but the officer`s real motivation was to look for drugs in the person`s car. To explore this concept, consider the following definition of pretext. At the end of the day, an employer almost never tells an employee that they are firing them for illegal reasons. Typically, the employer will invent a reason why he terminates the employee, and the illegal reason must be proven by circumstantial evidence. But just because the employer provides an excuse that may seem valid at first glance doesn`t mean the employee doesn`t have a case. An employer`s vague or subjective explanation of an adverse employment measure may lead to a pretext. For example, in Frederick M. Abrams v. Department of Public Safety, Abrams, an African-American detective with the Connecticut Department of Public Safety, claimed he was wrongly denied a transfer to the department`s homicide squad. A summary judgment was rendered against him, but the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found a possible pretext in Abrams` supervisor`s statement that Abrams «did not fit in» and that another plaintiff was «a better fit.» The court concluded that «the adequacy statements raise a genuine dispute over whether the reasons given for Abrams` non-assignment to the [homicide squad] were a pretext,» and sent the case back to the district court for trial.
From the employee`s point of view, the pretext can be proven in different ways. For example, the employee may be inconsistent in how the employer handles discipline. In short, any evidence that the employer does not manage discipline impartially and without discrimination may be a pretext. A pretext may also be demonstrated by proving that the reason alleged by an employer for an adverse labour law measure against an employee has changed or changed in the course of litigation. For example, if an employer fires John for excessive absence and then changes its position to say that the real reason for John`s dismissal is due to budgetary constraints, the investigator (judge or jury) may conclude that the employer should not be believed and that its alleged reasons for John`s dismissal are pretexts. A pretext may also be provided by comparative evidence that workers in a similar situation who do not belong to the applicant`s protected class have been treated more favourably. For example, five white employees were allowed to change their work hours to attend night classes at university, but the employer did not allow Mary (who happens to be African-American) to change her work schedule to attend a night class at the university. Such a scenario can be seen as evidence of a pretext. There are several important conclusions that employers should be aware of when it comes to pretexts. First, properly document all employment-related decisions by stating clear and unambiguous reasons for adverse employment policies.
Be honest and direct with your employees and focus on objective criteria rather than subjective beliefs or points of view. Second, recognize that changing the stated reason for the anti-employment measure may undermine your credibility and may lead to the conclusion that your reasons are pretexts. In short, don`t offer changing or inconsistent reasons for your decision. Finally, be consistent and fair in managing employee discipline. Inconsistency opens the door to finding an excuse and is usually viewed by juries with a healthy dose of skepticism. A «pretextual» arrest by law enforcement officers is an arrest made for illegal purposes, such as carrying out an unjustified search and seizure.   A pretext is a false or invented excuse used by the employer to dismiss an employee. A pretext is essentially an excuse used to conceal the true and illegal reason for termination. Some of the most common excuses we hear are «poor performance,» the employee «just doesn`t fit in» into the company, «restructuring» or «reorganization,» and «financial reasons» or cuts. In order for an employee to prove that the employer`s reason is a pretext, he or she must either prove that it is more likely that a discriminatory reason motivated the employer than the alleged reason, or that the employer`s explanation is not credible.
It should be noted that a simple employer error is not a pretext, but a pretext is a false and deliberate excuse used to cover up the illegal reason. To succeed in the labour trial, the employee must prove that the employer`s reason for dismissing the employee was a pretext or an invented excuse to conceal an illegal reason. This is also called early termination. If you have recently been fired unexpectedly and for an arbitrary reason, it can`t hurt to contact a labor attorney to investigate your legal rights and options. While there are many cases that provide a legal definition of «pretext,» it is essentially a false reason for an adverse employment measure that obscures the employer`s true motive. Proof of an apology means providing evidence that the reason given by the employer for the measure unfavourable to the employment in question is false, false or alleged. In other words, proving a pretext means showing that the reason given by the employer for the adverse employment measure is not the real reason for the act and was intended to conceal or disguise the employer`s discriminatory intent. The mere fact that an employer lied about why you were fired, demoted, or disliked does not in itself constitute a claim under employment law, but it does raise suspicion. An experienced employment lawyer can advise you on whether or not you have a potential claim due to the adverse employment law measure and the pretext provided by your employer.
In U.S. law, a pretext usually describes false reasons that hide the true intentions or motivations of a lawsuit. If a party can prove a prima facie case of the evidence presented, the opposing party must prove that these reasons were «pretexts» or false. This can be achieved by directly proving that the motivations behind the presentation of evidence are false, or indirectly by proving that the motivations are not «credible».  In Griffith v. Schnitzer, a case of workplace discrimination, a jury verdict was overturned by an appeals court because there was insufficient evidence that the defendant`s motives were «pretexts.» That is, the respondent`s evidence was not challenged or the plaintiff`s evidence was «irrelevant subjective assessments and opinions.»  «Although framed as an empirical question – whether the officer`s conduct departed significantly from normal police practices – the test proposed by the applicants is clearly intended to address the perceived danger of the alleged stops. It is therefore contrary to the Court`s jurisprudence, which shows that the concern for the «reasonableness» of the Fourth Amendment allows certain measures to be taken in certain circumstances, regardless of subjective intent. (Quote omitted.) Nor can it be assumed that Fourth Amendment protection varies from place to place and from time to time, which would be a consequence of assessing the appropriateness of police conduct in light of local law enforcement practices.
A pretext (adj: pretext) is an excuse to do something or say something that is not correct. Pretexts may be based on a half-truth or developed in the context of a misleading invention. Pretexts have been used to hide the true purpose or raison d`être behind actions and words. 1. The concealment of an actual fax with a weak or false reason or motive. 2. The excuse to legalize illegal activity Timing is important to prove a pretext, as it can show that an employer had a vendetta against the employee and fired him in retaliation.