Disparate Treatment

Intentional discrimination against one or more individuals based on their protected characteristics.
Disparate treatment

Disparate treatment is a severe form of discrimination. It happens when an employer treats differently an employee or job applicant intentionally and less favorably because of protected characteristic such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other.

It involves conscious decisions by the employer to treat the individual adversely, such as refusing to hire, terminating, denying promotions, pay raises, or job opportunities, or subjecting them to harassment based solely on their membership in a protected class rather than legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons.

Proving disparate treatment is a complex task that necessitates demonstrating the employer’s actions were driven by discriminatory intent, either through direct evidence of bias or indirect evidence of differing treatment compared to similarly situated employees outside the protected class.

Disparate treatment contrasts claims of “disparate impact” discrimination, where policies or practices that appear neutral disproportionately exclude protected groups, even if unintentional.

Disparate treatment is an intentional and overt form of unlawful discrimination, explicitly prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and some other anti-discrimination laws. Its occurrence can lead to severe legal consequences for the employer, including reinstatement, back pay, and compensatory and punitive damages, if proven.

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