Disparate Impact, and Unhappy People

January 26, 2015

Disparate treatment v. disparate impact is today’s subject. The concepts arise in discrimination laws passed mostly in the 1960s. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offers a detailed explanation here; in simple terms, disparate treatment involves intentional action directed at someone on account of their status—race, color, religion, gender, etc. Contrariwise, disparate impact results from seemingly neutral activities which adversely affect people on account of their status.

Increasingly, disparate treatment claims are being undermined in courts. On January 21 the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., No. 13-1371. Amy Howe from SCOTUSblog provides an excellent review of the case, within the context of

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