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504.14000 – Other/In General

Under Novato, a charging party may prove unlawful motive, intent, or purpose through direct or circumstantial evidence, including evidence which tends to show that an employer’s proffered justification for its action was not its true motive or purpose. (Novato, supra, PERB Decision No. 210, p. 6.) Circumstantial evidence, including evidence under one or more of the nexus factors borrowed from Wright Line and other private-sector authority, can be equally as probative as direct evidence. (Los Angeles County Superior Court (2018) PERB Decision No. 2566-C, p. 20, fn. 13.) “[D]irect proof of motivation is rarely possible, since motivation is a state of mind which may be known only to the actor. Thus . . . unlawful motive can be established by circumstantial evidence and inferred from the record as a whole.” (Novato Unified School District (1982) PERB Decision No. 210, p. 6.) (p. 9)