How disparate impact discrimination and disparate treatment discrimination

How disparate impact discrimination and disparate treatment discrimination occur under Title VII, and their implications.

 

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Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for an employer to base a person’s compensation, work conditions, terms of employment and his privileges on the color of his skin, gender, religion or ethnicity.  Any employer or supervisory action or decision that is made because of the enumerated factors are considered discriminatory and unlawful.

The disparate treatment scenario discrimination occurs when there are different levels of treatments based on gender, skin color, ethnicity and religion.  In cases of disparate treatment, the complainant must demonstrate that the employer is treating some employees in a less favorable manner because they are for instance, black, female, Indian, or Muslim.  The law requires proof of how the discrimination happened but it will also allow for inferences to be made in some cases.

In disparate impact, there is an employer practice that seems neutral in treatment of different sectors but has the effect of favoring one group.  Also, this practice can’t be shown to be necessary in business.  For example, a medium-scale company whose current employees are all white uses word of mouth as a way of recruiting new employees.  As a result, only white people are hired and added to the workforce.  The employer must prove that the word of mouth is a business necessity and that the all-white workforce has not happened because of design.

Title VII, however, establishes a 180-day limitation for disparate treatment cases to be filed, otherwise, the case would be inadmissible in court.  As what happened in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., the complainant won the case in the District Court  but the judgment was overruled in the Eleventh Circuit because it failed the 180-day filing limitation (Duane Morris Home Page, 2007).

References

 

Duane Morris Home Page.  (2007, June 12).  “Disparate Treatment” under Title VII and the        ADA.  Retrieved November 10, 2008, from http://www.duanemorris.com/alerts/alert2534.html

 

Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C.  Summary of Title VII Discrimination.  Retrieved November 10, 2008, from http://www.robertslaw.org/titlevii.htm

 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of         1964.  Retrieved November 10, 2008, from http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/vii.html

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