A disparate effect happens when a rule, policy, procedure, standard, or any test carried out in an organization has a negative effect on individuals belonging to a protected group. This negative effect is oftentimes discriminatory. The concept of disparate effect has been incorporated in regulations that address discrimination based on race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, pregnancy, disability, national origin, equal pay, military status, or genetic information.
It is important to note that disparate effects are unintentional. Meaning, at first glance, the rule or policy may seem neutral but ultimately exclude a protected class and puts them at a disadvantage.
How is disparate effect measured?
Measuring disparate effect is an essential step for companies to see if any of their screening requirements or practices have a disparate effect.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) developed the “4/5ths” rule (Four-Fifths rule). If the selection rate for a particular group is less than 80% or four-fifths of the selection rate for the highest group, then there means that there is a disparate effect.
Why is it important for organizations to measure disparate effect?
A disparate effect can happen at any part of the employment process. From hiring, interviewing, onboarding, promotion, performance reviews, to layoffs, there is a possibility that even one line or rule results in disparate effects. When it comes to disparate effects, it is black and white. There is no “minimal disparate effect” or “grave disparate effect.” It either exists or it does not.
If even one step in the screening process is disproportionate, it will hurt the company as a whole. Not only can the organization be subject to lawsuits and legal damages, but the company is also excluding potential talent and contributors. Evaluating the screening process, policies, and practices of an organization is key to having an inclusive workforce.
How can HR help in preventing disparate effect?
The HR team must take the initiative in making sure that an organization remains free from disparate effect and compliant with EEOC guidelines. This entails reviewing policies, manuals, hiring processes, and other systems implemented by the company. Aside from this, the HR team can also create employee awareness of disparate effects and its consequences.
Try out Workstream to hire employees for
A revolutionary hiring process for Hourly positions
A revolutionary hiring process for Hourly positions Hiring hourly staff in San Francisco can be a tough job. Workstream can help accelerate the process by letting you post on job boards like Indeed within seconds.
1-Click Job Posting
No more tedious copy and pasting. We integrate with all the top job boards. All applicants funnel into one intuitive dashboard.
Print out your unique QR code and text message number. Applicants scan/text to see all open positions and apply right away.
Automated & 2-Way SMS
Engage with applicants via text. Include links to screening questions, forms, and more. Use 2-way text to answer questions.
Connect Workstream to your calendar so applicants can schedule interviews. Streamline onboarding with background check & HR integrations.
Candidate Tracking & Scoring
View all your applicants and employees in one place. Make notes on their progress. Access their docs anytime from anywhere.
We provide templates for everything from job postings to offer letters. Send links to docs and tax forms via text message so new hires sign digital copies.
What other owners
think about hiring through Workstream
"Workstream is quick and efficient. I love that an applicant can apply and can have a phone interview within 24 hours, without all the back and forth."
Sylvan Learning Center | Piedmont
Currently hiring on Workstream for:
Middle School Teacher - After School
Reading Tutor (K-2)
Reading Teachers Needed After School
"Ease of use.... great follow up tools!"
Currently hiring on Workstream for:
Live in Caregiver
Certified Nursing Assistant
"I love the texting part of the website - I think that it is the most relevant way to get a hold of millennial applicants! The texting reminder to them about their interview is great! "
Matilda Jane Clothing
Post a job for free!
Try Workstream for free to post a job.
Workstream is the mobile-first hiring and onboarding platform for the deskless workforce. Powered by automation and two-way texting, our platform enables businesses to source, screen and onboard hourly workers faster. More than 24,000 businesses trust Workstream to hire - and save up to 70% of time on hiring.