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NCJ Number: 123354 Find in a Library
Title: Appearance of Justice and the Bottom Line Defense
Journal: Yale Law Journal  Volume:99  Issue:4  Dated:(January 1990)  Pages:865-883
Author(s): E Lasker
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 19
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This note critiques the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Connecticut v. Teal (1982), in which the Court rejected the bottom-line defense in an employment discrimination case brought under Title VII.
Abstract: The bottom-line defense, previously accepted by a majority of the Federal courts that had addressed the issue and included in the 1978 Uniform Guidelines on Employment Selection Procedure, allowed an employer to use a selection procedure that had a disproportionate impact on protected groups if the employer compensated for that impact elsewhere in its selection process. In rejecting this argument, the Court held that Title VII prohibited any procedures that imposed "barriers" and "deprived ... any individual of employment opportunities." In his dissent, Justice Powell suggested that under the Court's ruling, a multicomponent employment process, in which a variety of measures were used collectively for selection with no single factor or subtest constituting a pass-fail barrier beyond which an applicant could not compete further, would still be protected by the bottom-line defense. This note argues that "Teal" should not govern multicomponent processes. Such a selection process will not foster the same perceptions of unfair process and racial or sexual inequality fostered by a pass-fail test. 91 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Equal opportunity employment; Personnel selection
Index Term(s): Discrimination; US Supreme Court decisions
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