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When It’s Not Obvious: There Are Discrimination Issues That Can, and Do, Sneak Up on You

Published:  April 22, 2014

Not all discrimination is open or obvious.

Sometimes it can sneak up on you in ways you have not imagined. In fact, you may face a viable discrimination claim even when you did not intend to discriminate against someone. 

Under a disparate-impact theory of discrimination, intent is irrelevant. Instead, liability is based upon the effects or impact of a policy or practice, rather than the employer’s motivation behind it. In other words, a disparate-impact claim arises when an employer’s policies and practices, seemingly neutral and non-discriminatory on their face, result in a negative impact on a protected class of employees, based on factors such as race or age.

Disparate-impact claims often arise in the context of employee-selection criteria, pre-hire assessments, employee testing, organizational restructuring, and reductions in force. 

Click here to read the full article published by BusinessWest.