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Disparate Impact Vs Disparate Treatment Case Study

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Disparate Impact/Disparate Treatment Case Study

Disparate Impact and Disparate Treatment are two examples of discriminatory treatment, but one is direct and the other is indirect. "Disparate impact" is a legal theory for proving unlawful employment discrimination. Disparate impact is the idea that some employer practices, as mater of statistics, have a greater impact on one group than on another. (Runkel, n.d.)Disparate impact is a non-intentional discriminatory action. On the other hand, "Disparate Treatment" is a basic concept in employment discrimination cases. Lawyers classify employment discrimination cases as either "disparate treatment" cases or "disparate impact" cases. Example of a disparate treatment case is, an employee claiming that the employer treated her differently than other employees who were in a similar situation. Like, Jane and Paul skip work one day; the employer fires Jane but does not fire Paul. If the reason is because Jane is female, then this is disparate treatment because of sex which would violate title VII. (Runkel, n.d.) After defining the two different types of discriminatory actions we can have a better understanding of how the two affect employee's rights.

In the case EEOC v. The Dial Corporation (# 3-02-CV-10109 S.D. Iowa), a discrimination charge was filed by Paula Liles, who applied for a position at Dial in February 2000. Ms. Liles and other unsuccessful female applicants testified at trial that they had performed heavy physical work, including lifting, in the past, and that they had met all the other job requirements and had been made conditional job offers prior to being rejected by Dial based on the work tolerance test. Ms. Liles completed the seven-minute test, but was graded as failing because of her height, which required her to go on her toes to complete the lifts to 65 inches. Judge Longstaff stated that, "Dial has failed to fulfill its burden to show it had a 'compelling need' for implementation of the WTS, and that other, non-discriminatory mechanisms namely, many of the same safety programs actually implemented by Dial could not produce the same results." The court's decision rejects the validity of the strength test, which was implemented by dial in January 2000. Prior to the test, nearly half of the people hired for entry-level jobs in the sausage department of the plant had been female. The job is physically demanding, requiring the repetitive lifting of 35-pound rod of sausages to a height of approximately 65 inches. The judge stated, "That the test was more difficult than the job itself. "Jean P. Kamp, Regional Attorney for the Milwaukee District Office of the EEOC said, " Disparate impact cases are somewhat unusual, but they are an important tool when, as here, an apparently neutral screening test excludes large numbers of women, or any other protected group, who are able to perform the job." (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2005)

In the case Raytheon Co. v. Hernandez (02-749) 540 U.S. 44 (2003), Hernandez tested positive for cocaine and was forced to resign. More than two years later Hernandez applied to be rehired, stating on his



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