Friday, February 02, 2007

Johnson v. City of Memphis decision available

Thanks to Lance Seberhagen, the U.S. District Court decision in Johnson v. City of Memphis is now available in IPMAAC's library.

Why is this case important? Because it's a rare example of a plaintiff prevailing in a Title VII disparate impact case by arguing that (even though the exam process was judged to be valid), there existed another process with similar validity but with less adverse impact that the employer should have used, per the Albemarle decision, 42 U.S.C. 2000-e2(k)(1)(A) and Section 3B of the Uniform Guidelines.

This is an area where many folks think there will be increased litigation, which makes it that much more important that when we're designing selection systems we take a very broad view of what methods are available and their likely features (validity, adverse impact, practicality, etc.). I presented on this issue with some colleagues a few years ago.

If you want to skip to the meat of the case, read pages 16-27, including this gem:

"Plaintiffs are not required to have proposed the alternative. The requirement is only that the alternative was available. The Court reads "availability" in this context to mean that Defendant either knew or should have known that such an alternative existed."

If you'd like to cause your eyebrows to raise a little higher, read the remedies on pages 37-38.

No word yet on whether the City will appeal.

No comments: