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*fn1 One of TCHRA’s purposes is to “provide for the execution of the policies of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its subsequent amendments.” Tex. Lab. Code Ann. � 21.001(1). Therefore, analogous federal statutes and the cases interpreting them guide our reading of the TCHRA. Quantum Chem. Corp. v. Toennies, 47 S.W.3d 473, 476 (Tex. 2001); NME Hosps., Inc. v. Rennels, 994 S.W.2d 142, 144 (Tex. 1999). *fn2

Federal courts recognize two types of Title VII employment discrimination cases, each requiring different elements of proof. The first type is the “pretext” case, in which the plaintiff’s ultimate goal is to show that the employer’s stated reason for the adverse action was a pretext for discrimination. Texas Dep’t of Cmty. Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 252-56, 101 S.Ct. 1089, 67 L.Ed.2d 207 (1981); McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802-05, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973). The plaintiff can usually provide sufficient evidence of discriminatory intent by showing that the employer’s proffered reason for the adverse action is false. Quantum Chem. Corp. v. Toennies, 47 S.W.3d at 476 (citing Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 142-48, 120 S.Ct. 2097, 147 L.Ed.2d 268 (2000)). The second type of case is the “mixed-motive” case, in which the plaintiff has direct evidence of discriminatory animus. This direct evidence shifts the burden of proof to the employer to show that legitimate reasons would have led to the same decision regardless of any discriminatory motives. Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228, 244-45, 109 S.Ct. 1775, 104 L.Ed.2d 268 (1989); Starceski v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 54 F.3d 1089, 1095-99 (3d Cir. 1995). Thus, how a case will be classified depends entirely on the presence or absence of direct evidence. Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. at 276. If the plaintiff has only circumstantial evidence of discrimination, the case will be classified as a pretext case regardless of how many motives the employer had. Mooney v. Aramco Servs. Co., 54 F.3d 1207, 1216 (5th Cir. 1995); Starceski v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 54 F.3d at 1097-98.

Both Waldmiller and Continental have correctly characterized this as a pretext case. The Supreme Court defined the order and allocation of proof for a pretext case in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. at 802, and Texas Dep’t of Cmty. Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. at 252-53. Initially, the complainant must establish a prima facie case of discrimination. McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. at 802. Although the precise elements of discrimination will vary depending on the allegations, id. at 802 n.13, the complainant’s burden at this stage of the case “is not onerous.” Texas Dep’t of Cmty. Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. at 253. In our circumstances, a prima facie case will be considered as established if Waldmiller can show that: (1) she was a member of a protected class, (2) she was qualified for the position she lost, (3) she suffered an adverse employment action, and (4) others similarly situated were more favorably treated. See Urbano v. Cont’l Airlines, 138 F.3d 204, 206 (5th Cir. 1998). The establishment of a prima facie case in effect creates a presumption that the employer unlawfully discriminated against the employee. Texas Dep’t of Cmty. Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. at 254. To establish a presumption is to say that a finding of the prima facie case produces a required conclusion against the employer in the absence of an explanation. St. Mary’s Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, 509 U.S. 502, 506, 113 S.Ct. 2742, 125 L.Ed.2d 407 (1993). Thus, once the plaintiff has established a prima facie case, a burden of production falls to the employer to articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for any alleged unequal treatment. St. Mary’s Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, 509 U.S. at 506-07; McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. at 802. This burden is one of production, not persuasion; it can “involve no credibility assessment.” St. Mary’s Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, 509 U.S. at 509. If the employer satisfies this burden of production, the presumption of discrimination created by the plaintiff’s prima facie showing is eliminated, see Texas Dep’t of Cmty. Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. at 254, and all that remains is the plaintiff’s burden to persuade the fact-finder that the proffered reason was not the true reason for the employment decision and that the improper consideration-in this case, age-was the true reason. See St. Mary’s Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, 509 U.S. at 507-08.

 
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