Disparate Impact Discrimination

Most Americans understand discrimination as the mistreatment of people of color during the civil rights movement.  The intentional mistreatment of these populations is a stain on America’s ideal of equal rights for all that the civil rights movement began the process of addressing.

What many American employers are unaware of is that the civil rights laws also prohibit the use of employment policies that have a disparate impact on protected groups. 

For example, some physical fitness or other tests used as prerequisites to obtaining a position may serve to disproportionately exclude protected groups from obtaining employment. 

Traditionally disparate impact discrimination litigation focused on pre- employment tests not be appropriately aligned with the required qualification for a position.  For example, long-distance running for correction officers or overly complicated aptitude tests for firefighters.

More recently, disparate impact litigation has challenged white collar employment practices such as compensation and evaluation systems that have a disparate impact on women or people of color.

A claim for disparate impact discrimination can be made even when the disparate impact of a policy is entirely unintentional.

If you believe you may have been subjected to a policy that has a disparate impact on a a particular racial group or ethnicity, or gender, you can schedule a free consultation here or call (646) 560-3208.