College Essay Examples

Protected Class and Adverse Impact

The disparate effect occurs when an organization’s actions, rules, or other aspects of its operations unintentionally discriminate against persons who are members of a protected class. The protected class is the intentional treatment of members of a particular group differently. In both instances, the employee must submit a report with the business to inform them that a discriminatory act has occurred. This does happen very often in the world we live in, but it is almost always an act of little consequence. If a claim of discriminatory effect or treatment is made, proof must support the allegation. Without proof, the issue will slip through the cracks since it will become an opinionated fight between the employee and the employer, which will most likely not be resolved. 

Two kinds of evidence may be used to bring a lawsuit against a corporation. The first is direct proof, a simple examination of the business to determine whether it discriminates clearly against a particular age, sex, ethnicity, nationality, or handicap. Indirect evidence covers all of the same discriminating criteria, but it is not a direct attack on a person (Carey, 2018). When filing a claim, gathering all of the information is critical in determining the disproportionate effect of treating individuals applying for jobs, working in a business, or being dismissed or let go from a company for reasons other than poor performance. Following the filing of a claim, further legal measures such as litigation and accommodations for the person harmed by the unequal treatment or effect are taken. After the allegation has been resolved, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission becomes involved to continue fighting for the individual treated unfairly.

In order to show that discrimination is occurring, a four-step procedure must be followed in assessing unfavorable effects. The Uniform Guidelines established the 4/5ths percent criterion as a guideline. This guideline is drawn from the EEOC’s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. On June 19, 2020, published statistical examples to demonstrate how the 80 percent rule is calculated. If there are 80 Caucasian candidates, 48 will be hired, accounting for 60% of the total. There were 40 Latino candidates over the same period, and 12 were hired, accounting for 30% of the total. In this case, 30% of Latinos are half of the 60% of Caucasians, which is a breach of the 80 percent rule since only 50% of Latino employees are employed compared to 60% of Caucasian workers. This is an obvious instance of discrimination, and it will undoubtedly be brought to court based on concrete proof showing that fewer than 80% of Latino candidates were hired compared to Caucasian applicants (Jones et al., 2021). In order to prevent a lawsuit for adverse effects, any company employing candidates must follow these criteria. As previously mentioned, most cases are indirect, but the 80 percent approach allows companies and the EEOC to quickly assess if an adverse effect or protected class has occurred inside a given company. There are set bets with this technique since if the sample size is tiny, the denial of three out of ten individuals will drop a company below the 80% mark, prompting a red signal to appear.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was a significant example that altered how businesses recruited new candidates. This legislation bans private employers, state and local governments, and other entities from discriminating against eligible people with disabilities in job application processes, hiring, promotion, pay, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. This was a significant shift since, before 1990, businesses and organizations were free to refuse disabled candidates for employment. People with disabilities are often refused employment solely because of their handicap, which is a clear instance of unfavorable effect since they are openly discriminated against by their employers. Businesses must provide reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities under this legislation in order for them to have the same opportunities as other employees. In one fiscal year, the EEOC received 25,165 complaints of handicap discrimination (Nwachukwu & Chladková, 2017). Reasonable accommodations played a significant role in modifying the act since it had such a wide meaning when it was initially enacted, resulting in many kinds of discrimination against disabled workers inside companies. 

Sutton v. United Air Lines was a lawsuit that emerged as a result of the act’s amendment. When deciding whether a person has a disability under the ADA, “courts considered remedial assistance, such as eyeglasses for impaired vision or medicine for high blood pressure, to lessen impairments.” Another instance was Toyota v. Williams, in which Ms. Williams suffered carpal tunnel disease and was only able to do specific activities. This instance, like the other, was not deemed a handicap since she was able to do her work successfully by performing physical tasks. Both instances were not deemed disabilities, but modest accommodations were made to guarantee that they could work as well as any other employee.


Carey, A. (2018). Political Ideology as a Limited Protected Class Under Federal Title VII Antidiscrimination Law. JL & Pol’y26, 637. handle=hein.journals/nylr92&div=15&id=&page

Jones, K. S., Newman, D. A., Su, R., & Rounds, J. (2021). Vocational interests and adverse impact: How attraction and selection on vocational interests relate to adverse impact potential. Journal of Applied Psychology. 

Nwachukwu, C. E., & Chladková, H. (2017). Human resource management practices and employee satisfaction in microfinance banks in Nigeria. Trends Economics and Management11(28), 23-35. 

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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