mixed-motive doctrine.Employment law. The principle that, when the evidence in an employment-discrimination case shows that the complained-of employment action was based in part on a nondiscriminatory reason and in part on a discriminatory reason, the plaintiff must show that discrimination was a motivating factor for the employment action and, if the plaintiff makes that showing, then the defendant must show that it would have taken the same action without regard to the discriminatory reason. [Cases: Civil Rights 1137. C.J.S. Civil Rights §§ 34, 39–40.]

[Blacks Law 8th]