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Contributory Disparate Impacts In Employment Discrimination Law, Peter Siegelman Mar 2014

Contributory Disparate Impacts In Employment Discrimination Law, Peter Siegelman

Peter Siegelman

An employer who adopts a facially neutral employment practice that disqualifies a larger proportion of protected-class applicants than others is liable under a disparate impact theory. Defendants can escape liability if they show that the practice is justified by business necessity. But demonstrating business necessity requires costly validation studies that themselves impose a significant burden on defendants-upwards of $100,000 according to some estimates. This Article argues that an employer should have a defense against disparate impact liability if it can show that protected-class applicants failed to make reasonable efforts to train or prepare for a job related test. That ...