Hiring rules that end up excluding many applicants who belong to a protected class can spell big trouble. That’s because if the rule has a disparate impact on any particular protected class, it may be invalid and could become the basis for a lawsuit.
At a minimum, be prepared to show that the rule is based on business necessity.
Note: Everyone belongs to some protected class.
Recent case: Attorney Gregory Meditz sought a job with the city of Newark. Meditz, who is white, lived in a town outside Newark. He was turned down for the job even though he met all the qualifications other than being a Newark resident.
Meditz sued, alleging that the requirement that employees live within city limits effectively had a disparate impact on white, non-Hispanic applicants. He used statistical evidence to show that there were very few white city employees in Newark, far fewer than their number in the local workforce would indicate should...(register to read more)