The Dead End of "Disparate Impact" (T1 HBD)

3 posts

Bob Dylan Roof

T1 tenured jewess law professor takes on Title VII, the Supreme Court's prohibition on employment IQ testing, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She remains a pious environmentalist throughout the article, but her analysis and conclusions are consonant with those of the internet Hatesphere.

The Dead End of "Disparate Impact"

I n 2003, the city of New Haven, Connecticut, sought to fill 15 vacancies for supervisory positions in its fire department by promoting from within. As required by law, the city administered to applicants a written and oral civil-service exam created with the help of personnel experts and fire-department officials. In all, 118 firefighters took the exam; when the test scores came back, it turned out that white applicants had passed at roughly twice the rate of black applicants. If the fire department had followed the city's civil-service placement rules, no black applicants, and at most two Hispanic applicants, would have been promoted to fill the 15 vacancies.
To avoid this outcome, the city eventually threw out the exam results. Officials were concerned, in part, that the promotions mandated by the test results would prompt a lawsuit by minority applicants. But some of the applicants who had passed the exam protested the city's decision, claiming they were being denied a fair chance at a promotion for which they had proved themselves qualified. Seventeen successful white test-takers and one successful Hispanic test-taker sued to have the results reinstated; in 2009, their lawsuit reached the United States Supreme Court as Ricci v. DeStefano .
At the heart of the Ricci case was the doctrine of disparate-impact discrimination, which the Supreme Court first articulated in its 1971 decision in Griggs v. Duke Power Company . At issue in Griggs was the requirement that employees hired into service jobs at the power company's facilities had to possess a high-school diploma and achieve a minimum score on an IQ test. The plaintiffs argued that these rules disqualified too many black job applicants, thereby violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
The Supreme Court agreed, ruling that job criteria with an adverse or exclusionary effect on minorities — even if those criteria were "neutral on their face, and even neutral in terms of intent" — could violate the Title VII ban on race discrimination in hiring. The Court further stipulated that employers could escape liability for "disparate impact" only if they demonstrated that their adverse selection practices had "a manifest relationship to the employment in question" or that they were justified by "business necessity." In examining the criteria for positions at the Duke Power Company, the Court found insufficient evidence to satisfy the job-relatedness defense, and so ruled against the utility.
According to the Griggs Court, the purpose of the newly established disparate-impact rule was to "achieve equality of employment opportunities" by removing "built-in headwinds" and "barriers that had operated in the past" to impede minorities' workplace advancement. In Griggs and several subsequent cases, the Court has repeatedly stressed that the doctrine's goal is fully consistent with a competitive meritocracy — one in which businesses remain free to seek out, hire, and promote the best and most productive workers regardless of race and to adopt personnel practices that best achieve that result. The purpose of the rule, according to the Court, is not to enact affirmative-action or group quotas for employment, but simply to eliminate arbitrary disadvantages suffered by minority job-seekers.
Despite this assertion, the development of the Griggs doctrine has proved anything but friendly to meritocratic objectives. Although the Supreme Court has never held that all workplaces must be racially balanced, lower courts and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is charged with administering Title VII, have firmly embraced the presumption that the racial profiles of particular workplaces should reflect the racial composition of the broader population.
Continued at

I think we need to flag in the legal eagles here.

Niccolo and Donkey