Disparate Impact

Some folks sued RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co over its hiring policy that

allegedly gave preference to applicants with two to three years of job experience out of college and disfavored those with closer to a decade in the workforce. The company’s guidelines provided to its hiring contractor, according to the ruling, said the greener group of workers “adjusts easily to changes.”

The suit centered on the premise that this policy had a disparate impact on older workers.  In the words of Lee Parks, an employment and civil rights lawyer with Parks, Chesin & Walbert, the policy means that

Those over 40 need not apply[.]

Judge William Pryor, writing for the majority at the 11th Circuit, which heard an appeal from the trial court’s ruling, wrote Indeed.  Disparate impact questions only apply to job holders, not those who’d merely like to hold a job.

Apparently disparate impact as justification for “corrective” action or as a cudgel is good only for some groups of Americans, but those who aren’t currently the favored ones don’t get its use.

This is one more reason to do away with disparate impact as an excuse for anything at all.

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