Employment Discrimination Help

FAQ: What is Disparate Treatment?

One of the forms of discrimination is disparate treatment. Disparate treatment occurs when employer treats different groups of workers differently. One can tell that there is a disparate treatment if she/he can compare the conditions of employment, policies and practices of employer, and working environment of different groups of workers and find certain discriminatory differences.

The law says the following:

"Disparate treatment" such as is alleged in the present case is the most easily understood type of discrimination. The employer simply treats some people less favorably than others because of their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Proof of discriminatory motive is critical, although it can in some situations be inferred from the mere fact of differences in treatment. See, e.g., Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Dev. Corp., 429 U.S. 252, 265-266.
Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters v. United States, 431 U.S. 324, 335 (U.S. 1977) Claims of disparate treatment may be distinguished from claims that stress "disparate impact." The latter involve employment practices that are facially neutral in their treatment of different groups but that in fact fall more harshly on one group than another and cannot be justified by business necessity. Proof of discriminatory motive, we have held, is not required under a disparate-impact theory. Id at 335.

Examples of disparate treatment would be: providing higher pay to men opposed to women; offering overtime hours to Caucasian workers opposed to African Americans; accommodating religious beliefs of Christians and denying reasonable accommodation to Muslim or Jewish workers; disciplining Caucasian employees and not disciplining for similar violations Hispanic employees. These are just examples. Each employee has his/her own circumstances and should consult with an attorney.