Title VII prohibits employers from discharging an employee on the basis of the individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In cases involving an allegation of discriminatory discharge, the federal circuit courts of appeals have disagreed on whether to consider in the prima facie case the identity of the person the defendant employer has hired to replace the plaintiff. The majority of these courts have held that courts should not require the plaintiff to prove that a person outside of the plaintiff's protected class replaced the plaintiff in order to establish a prima facie case for employment discrimination. This Note argues that, because the underlying policy of Title VII is to protect individuals, not classes of individuals, from employment discrimination, consideration of replacement identity has no valid place in a discriminatory discharge case brought under Title VII.
Karen G. Hong, Dubious Protected Class Distinctions: Eliminating the Role of Replacement Identity in a Discharged Title VII Plaintiff's Case, 44 B.C.L. Rev. 1295 (2003), http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr/vol44/iss4/14