When it comes to criminal history screening policies, one size does not fit all! Several factors must be considered to avoid even the appearance of disparate impact discrimination. COULD YOU BE SUED FOR USING A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK TO SCREEN TENANTS?
What is Disparate Impact?
Legally, disparate impact refers to practices in employment, housing and other areas that adversely affect one group of people of a protected characteristic more than another, even though rules applied by employers or landlords are formally neutral. Although the protected classes vary by statute, most federal civil rights laws protect based on race, color, religion, national origin, and sex as protected traits, and some laws include disability status and other traits as well. So, what does that mean in layman’s terms for the housing industry? Essentially, disparate impact comes into play concerning a property’s policies
and procedures. These policies and procedures may not seem to discriminate against anybody on the surface. Still, when the policy is implemented, it disproportionately and negatively affects a protected class. A perfect example of this is criminal history screening.
WHEN IT COMES TO CRIMINAL HISTORY SCREENING POLICIES, ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL!
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