HR Support on Disparate Treatment Discrimination Issues

Editor's Note: Understand how to prevent disparate treatment discrimination.

Beth P. Zoller Overview: Disparate treatment discrimination involves treating an individual unfavorably or making an employment decisions based on an individual's membership in a protected class, i.e., race, religion, etc. To defend against a claim of disparate treatment, an employer can argue that it acted in compliance with a workplace policy or that there was a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for the adverse action which would have occurred even if the individual was not in a protected class. In turn, the employee or applicant may argue that the employer's reason was actually a cover-up and a disguise for a discriminatory motive.

Trends: Employers need to be aware that the EEOC is increasing its investigation of charges of individual disparate treatment discrimination in the workplace. Further, the EEOC has stated that disparate treatment in hiring remains a significant issue as employers are still discriminating against individuals based on race, sex, age, disability, and other protected characteristics.

Beth P. Zoller, J.D., Legal Editor

Latest items in Disparate Treatment

  • Supreme Court Adds Two Employment Cases Just Before Summer Recess

    Date:
    08 July 2014
    Type:
    News

    As the Supreme Court closed its 2013-2014 term, the justices agreed to hear two new cases directly affecting employers. One involves the EEOC's enforcement efforts while the other deals with a key pregnancy accommodation issue.

  • Retaliation - Supervisor Briefing

    Type:
    Supervisor Briefings

    This briefing for supervisors examines the law and best practices for understanding, preventing and responding to unlawful retaliatory behavior in the workplace.

  • EEO - Discrimination: District of Columbia

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of District of Columbia employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to EEO discrimination.

  • "Bumpy" Road Ahead: A Prudent Employer's Guide to Pregnancy Discrimination Laws

    Date:
    28 February 2013
    Type:
    News

    When an employee announces her pregnancy, a prudent employer should proceed cautiously because a bumpy road lies ahead as legislators and policymakers at the state and federal level push for greater protection for pregnant employees. In fact, some states have already passed legislation that goes beyond federal requirements

  • Phoenix Now Prohibits Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Disability Discrimination

    Date:
    28 February 2013
    Type:
    News

    Arizona employers take note - the Phoenix City Council has passed a measure prohibiting employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender individuals, as well as individuals with disabilities. The Ordinance G-5780 goes into effect on March 26, 2013. It applies to all employers within Phoenix city limits with at least one worker.

  • Sexual Harassment Settlement Provides Valuable Lessons for Transportation Employers

    Date:
    14 February 2013
    Type:
    News

    Because the trucking industry is a male-dominated industry in which women remain a minority, transportation employers have frequently encountered sex harassment and sex discrimination lawsuits. Although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC's) class action sexual harassment claim against CRST Van Expedited, one of the largest interstate trucking companies, failed to take flight, the case and ensuing settlement provide employers with valuable insight into what the EEOC may build a case on.

  • Mixed Motive Case Provides Mixed Results for California Employers

    Date:
    13 February 2013
    Type:
    News

    In Harris v. City of Santa Monica, the California Supreme Court considered a mixed motive discrimination case in which an employer had both lawful and unlawful reasons for terminating an employee. The court ruled that the employer may be held liable if the employee can show that discrimination was a substantial factor motivating an adverse employment action; however, damages may be limited if the employer demonstrates that it would have made the same decision absent the discrimination.

  • Trucking Company Pays $200,000 for Race Harassment

    Date:
    07 February 2013
    Type:
    News

    The transportation and trucking industry - which has traditionally employed mostly white males - has long been hit with discrimination claims based on race, sex, disability and other protected classes. A recent jury award demonstrates that companies will pay a hefty price for allowing a racially charged atmosphere and failing to respond to race discrimination and harassment complaints.

  • Equal Pay Still a Hot Issue: Fair Pay Act Reintroduced in Congress

    Date:
    31 January 2013
    Type:
    News

    In a year in which equal pay looks to be hot issue, the Fair Pay Act (S. 168, H.R. 438) was reintroduced in Congress in both the House and the Senate by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) respectively.

  • EEOC Statistics Show Retaliation Still Top Workplace Concern

    Date:
    29 January 2013
    Type:
    News

    On January 28, 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released fiscal year 2012 statistics on employment discrimination charges filed with the agency. Retaliation (37,836) was the most frequently filed claim, followed by race discrimination (33,512) and sex discrimination (30,356), which includes sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. Retaliation charges remain a top concern for employers and have since 2010, accounting for 38.1% of all charges in 2012.

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HR guidance on legal issues relating to disparate treatment discrimination in the workplace. How to avoid treating protected employees differently.