Compare and Contrast Disparate Treatment and Disparate Impact: Disparate Treatment and Disparate Impact are two theories under Title VII of the United States Civil Rights Act. Together, they were intended to prohibit discriminatory actions on part of employers toward racial, sexual or class minorities…
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In all disparate treatment cases, “whether the issue is the truth or falsity of the employer's reason for its action, or the co-existence of legitimate and illegitimate motives, whether the plaintiff puts on direct or circumstantial evidence, or both, the issue at the liability stage is simply whether the plaintiff has shown, by a preponderance of the evidence, that discrimination was a motivating factor in the employment decision.” (Drachsler, 2005, p.230) The Civil Rights Act of 1991, further extended these provisions and consolidated the list of prohibitions. But the application of Disparate Treatment theory to any given case is never straight-forward, for management decisions are based upon so many factors, with prejudice and discrimination (if any) often playing out in subtle and indirect ways. Judge Magnuson elaborated on 1991 amendments thus: “Absent from the statute is the requirement that discrimination be a "substantial" factor, a "but-for" factor, or the necessary and sufficient cause of the employment decision. Instead, Congress unambiguously required that discrimination be "a" motivating factor in the employment decision.
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