[IPAC-List] Article alert

Mark Hammer Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca
Wed Sep 8 15:31:20 EDT 2010

if you just can't seem to get enough of Ricci vs Stefano,
the July issue of Public Administration Review has a
paper pertaining to it:

Damned If You Do and Damned If You Don’t: Title VII
and Public Employee Promotion Disparate Treatment and
Disparate Impact Litigation. R.N. Roberts.
Public Administration Review • July| August 2010,
pp. 582-590

Haven't read it yet, but here's the abstract:

What has been the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s
2009 decision in Ricci v. Destefano on the selection and
promotion practices of public employers? Relying solely
on circumstantial evidence, the Supreme Court held that
the Civil Service Board of New Haven, Connecticut, had
engaged in Title VII disparate treatment discrimination
by refusing to certify the results of a promotion
examination that led, in turn, to a disparate impact on
African American firefighters. To limit the discretion
of public employers to disregard such selection and
promotion exam results, the Ricci majority held that a
public employer must “have a strong basis in evidence
to believe it will be subject to disparate-impact liability
if it fails to the take the race-conscious discriminatory
action.” This article argues that the decision effectively
prohibits public employers from rejecting the results of
selection and promotion instruments, even though there
is evidence that screening instruments inequitably affect
protected groups. It also forces public employers to become
more careful in developing selection and promotion
examinations or face the possibility of costly Title VII

I suspect that it doesn't cover any ground that is totally
unfamiliar to people here, but it's interesting insomuch as
it is directed to a public administration (rather than HR or
employment law) audience. I can pop you an e-copy (136k)
if you don't have access to it and are interested.
Drop me a PM.

Mark Hammer


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