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Defining Disparate Impact Discrimination

A Pennsylvania employment attorney provides legal assistance to people who have been victimized by many different kinds of workplace discrimination. An attorney can also help employers to try to protect themselves from claims of on-the-job discrimination for which they could be held legally liable.

One thing many employers and employees are surprised to learn is that there are many different types of unlawful discrimination. In addition to intentionally discriminating against someone based on that person's race, religion, gender, nation origin, age, disability, or other protected status, it is also unlawful to impose discriminatory tests and procedures.

If a job requirement has the effect of disqualifying more individuals from a protected class, and there is no bona-fide job related reason for the job requirement to exist, this is a type of unlawful discrimination called disparate impact discrimination.

It can be hard for employees to recognize when they were the victims of disparate impact discrimination and sometimes it may also be difficult for employers to become aware they participated in this type of discrimination. Both employees and employers should get help from a King of Prussia employment attorney in understanding exactly what disparate impact discrimination entails. Curley & Rothman, LLC can help. Give us a call today to find out more.

What is Disparate Impact Discrimination?

The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission indicates disparate impact occurs “when neutral policies or practices had a disproportionate, adverse impact on any protected class, usually minorities or women.”

Disparate impact discrimination usually starts when there is a job requirement established by an employer. The job requirement may appear to be neutral on its face. However, it ends up disqualifying more people of a protected class, such as more people of a given race or a given religion. For example, in an area where fewer minorities have a college education, a job requirement mandating a college degree could be considered disparate impact discrimination.

Other examples include situations where employers impose a test of strength, which has the effect of disqualifying more older people or disqualifying more women; or where employers make candidates take a job test before being hired or promoted that people of a particular race or other protected class tend to perform more poorly on.

It is important to realize, however, that not every single job related test which disqualifies more people of a protected class will be considered disparate impact discrimination. Employers are allowed to impose requirements or give tests which have a legitimate connection to the job. In these situations, there is a bona fide reason for the test and employers can argue that no disparate impact discrimination occurred.

What Happens when Disparate Impact Discrimination Occurs?

If you believe you have been denied employment opportunities as a result of disparate impact job employment discrimination, you have a number of different options. You can make a complaint to the EEOC, which can launch an investigation and may take action. You can also file a civil lawsuit against an employer and seek damages for being denied employment opportunities or being denied a promotion.

If you decide you wish to file a lawsuit based on disparate impact discrimination, you will have to be able to prove that the test or the job requirement has had a disproportionate impact on a protected class. This means you have to show that the job requirement has had the effect of denying employment opportunities based on race, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability status, or color. If you successfully prove that the requirement has disqualified more minorities, the employer has to prove the requirement has a legitimate connection to the job or the court should find for you.

Making a disparate impact discrimination claim can be complicated, because it is often difficult to show what type of effect a job requirement has had on groups of people. An attorney can provide assistance in gathering data to make your case and in putting together the most compelling arguments possible to convince the court that disparate impact discrimination has occurred.

How can a King of Prussia Employment Attorney Help With Disparate Impact Discrimination?

A King of Prussia employment attorney provides comprehensive assistance to employees who are victimized by disparate impact discrimination and to employers who want to make sure they are in compliance with anti-discrimination rules. If you want to learn more about how disparate impact discrimination works, what to do if it occurs, or what to do to prevent it, give Curley & Rothman, LLC a call at 610-834-8819 or contact us online today.

Employment LawScott Rothman