Discrimination that occurs when a neutral-appearing practice or policy actually has a discriminatory effect on a protected class (www.practicallaw.com/5-501-5857) or classes. For example, an employment test that results in disproportionately more women receiving promotions than men might be found to have a disparate impact. Disparate impact is one of the theories of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (www.practicallaw.com/0-501-7062) (Title VII). The other is disparate treatment (www.practicallaw.com/8-502-2875).
For more information about disparate impact, see Practice Notes, Discrimination: Overview (www.practicallaw.com/3-503-3975) and Conducting Layoffs and Other Reductions in Force: Avoiding Disparate Impact and Retaliation Litigation (www.practicallaw.com/9-502-6665).