In most job discrimination cases, employees use the “disparate treatment” theory, claiming they were treated differently at work because of their membership in a protected category (e.g., gender, race, age).
But be aware that employees sometimes try to show that your otherwise neutral policies have a disparate impact on members of their protected class.
No intent or motive is needed to frame a disparate impact case. An employer can be bias-free and still guilty, as shown in the following case.
Recent case: Kathy Santana, a 20-year veteran of the Denver Sheriff’s Department, applied for a promotion to captain. She didn’t do well on the interview because she became emotional during the questioning.
After the application process, the department promoted 10 sergeants. Eight were male and Santana was not among the two females. Santana then sued, alleging that the entire selection process was biased against female candidates.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Santana couldn’t show any intentional bias in the process. But it still allowed her to take her case to trial.
Why? The appellate judges said all Santana had to show was that the interview resulted in fewer female promotions, meaning it had a disparate impact on women. Because it did, it is now up to the employer to show that the promotion process is justified by legitimate business needs. (Santana v. City of Denver, No. 05-1111, 10th Cir., 2007)
The lesson: Always check the impact of your promotion or hiring requirements on protected groups. Then, if the process seems to screen out members of a protected class, see if there are alternative requirements that don’t have the same impact but meet your business needs.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/3245/no-motive-no-intentno-problem-it-can-still-be-job-bias "
- Develop objective promotion criteria, stick with them—and be sure to document them
- No requirement to break up love triangles--but be prepared for workplace violence
- Conscientious objector vs. his military employer
- Study cites Texas as a hotbed of wage-and-hour claims
- Set salaries with help from most reputable web sites