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Disparate Impact And The Strong-Basis-In-Evidence Standard

Law360, New York (June 10, 2016, 11:01 AM EDT) -- In Ricci v. DeStefano,[1] the U.S. Supreme Court addressed the issue of when, if ever, can an employer lawfully use race- or gender-conscious action to avoid or remedy a disparate impact[2] violation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In Ricci, the city of New Haven, Connecticut, conducted promotional examinations for its firefighters.[3]

Citing concerns over disparate impact liability, the city jettisoned the results when white candidates disproportionately outperformed black and Hispanic candidates.[4] As a result, several white firefighters sued the city and...
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