An employment expert witness analyzes applicants’ demographic data to determine racial discrimination. This labor relations case involves an African American job applicant who alleges that a computer company and the businesses it hired to find suitable employees had a blanket policy to deny employment to applicants with criminal records. This practice of conducting background checks and the policy of non-referral adversely affected minority applicants, he asserts. The company consistently failed to refer minority applicants for positions for which they were qualified.
The plaintiff applied to the employment agencies contracted by the computer company. A criminal background check later revealed that the applicant had been convicted of driving violations, theft and assault and that he had lied on his job applications by denying any criminal record. One of the hiring companies referred the applicant for the job, the other did not. He was not interviewed or hired.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- What data supports the plaintiff’s discrimination and disparate impact claims?
Expert Witness Response
A careful review of applicants’ demographic data from the employment agency covering several years indicated that African American applicants were half as likely as similarly-situated white applicants to be recommended for employment. The analysis reflected a significant pattern of racial discrimination among African American applicants. This data supports the plaintiff’s claim that the criminal background check had a disparate impact on minority applicants.