Monday, December 16, 2013

Fair Housing: Avoiding Disparate Impact Discrimination

In a recent issue, Property Management Insider provides a really nice discussion of disparate impact discrimination.

What is disparate impact?

This might happen if employ an applicant screening system that inadvertently rejects a class that's protected by law. Under the Fair Housing Act Discriminatory Effects Standard, property owners could be subject to liability. The problem is that litigation involving these types of cases have largely been settled out of court, resulting in less-than-clear implications of what's allowed under the Fair Housing Act.
"But the theory is a bit more complicated and can put property owners in a potentially litigious situation while making 'seemingly neutral and common business policies, such as occupancy limitations, criminal background screening and Section 8 voucher policies, among others,' says the NMHC on its website. Such could trigger discrimination claims even though the property owner has no intent of singling out a particular group adversely."
 Read more on the Property Management Insider.