A)How could the EEOC prove adverse impact?
b)Cite specific discriminatory personnel practices at Dan Jones's company.
c)How could Jones's company defend itself against the allegations of discriminatory practice?
d)Would it make sense for this company to try to defend itself against the discrimination allegations?
Dan Jones had run his textile plant in a midsize southern town for many years without a whiff of trouble with the EEOC. He did not take formal steps to avoid making EEO-type mistakes; just the opposite. In fact, a professor from a local college had once told him to be more careful about how applicants were recruited and screened and how employees were treated. However, Jones' philosophy was "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", he assumed that his screening process was not "broke".
For many years Jones had no problem. If he needed a new employee, he simply asked his current employees (most of whom were Hispanic) if they had any friends who were looking for jobs. Sometimes, he would ask the local state employment agencies to list the open jobs and send over some candidates. He then had his sewing supervisor and plant manager (both also Hispanic) interview the applicants. No tests or other background checks were carried out, in part, said Jones, because "most of these applicants are friends and relatives of my current employees, and they would not send me any lemons".
Now Jones is being served with a formal notice from the county's Equal Rights Commission. It seems that of the 20 or so non- Hispanic applicants sent to Jones's firm last year from the state employment office, none had received a job offer. In fact, Jones's supervisor had not even returned the follow-up card to the employment office to verify that each applicant had showed up and been interviewed. Jones was starting to wonder if his HR process was too informal.
Interesting questions! Let's take a closer look.
1. How could the EEOC prove adverse impact?
Generally, some kind of quantitative proof is necessary to show that the employer's hiring practices have had an adverse impact. In this case, the quantitative proof would be that "out of the 20 or so non-Hispanic applicants sent to Jones's firm last year from the state employment office, none had received a job offer. In fact, Jones's supervisor had not even returned the follow-up card to the employment office to verify that each applicant had showed up and been interviewed" (from attached case, which is downloaded below easy referencing).
Generally, proof under Title VII involves three steps:
(i) The Plaintiff must make a prima facie showing that a specific hiring practice, or if inseparable, the entire hiring process taken together, has a foreseeably adverse impact on certain applicants or groups of people (e.g. age, race, gender, etc.).
(ii) If the plaintiff makes this showing, the employer must establish that the hiring practice has a manifest relationship to the job in question and is justified by business necessity.
(iii) If the employer establishes business necessity, then the plaintiff may still prevail by proving (a) an alternative hiring practice will serve the employer's interests equally well without adverse impact, (b) the employer has refused to adapt the alternative practice, and (c) the alternative practice would not be unduly ...
Referring to the case scenario, this solution discusses how the EEOC can prove adverse impact, citing specific discriminatory personnel practices at Dan Jones's company. It also discusses how Jones's company could defend itself against the allegations of discriminatory practice and if indeed it makes sense for this company to try to defend itself against the discrimination allegations.