Dunlap vs. Tennessee Valley Authority Essay
This case explores the fundamental legal issue of alleged racial discrimination by way of disparate treatment and disparate impact caused by Tennessee Valley Authority against a qualified, experienced boilermaker foreman. Questions for the court to evaluate regarding the matter are: Is this a case of disparate treatment? Is this a case of disparate impact? Was David Dunlap subject to racial discrimination? Did TVA use subjective hiring practices that permitted racial bias? What was the legal issue in this case?The legal issue in this case of Dunlap v Tennessee Valley Authority involved the alleged charges of racial discrimination. That case was presented before the court by 52-year old, David Dunlap, a 25 year boilermaker with 15 years of foreman experience.
Most of his experiences were within TVA, but as a contractor or temporary worker, not actually employed with the organization. Dunlap feel his rights under the Title VII Civil Right Act of 1964, had been violated when he was by-passed for less qualified applicants for positions within TVA.He claimed that his work and supervisory experience and his technical skills qualified him for the positions. He believed that the interview process was tainted and was designed to be preferential to certain groups and could be described as racially bias.
The court then had to decide if TVA intended to use harsh employment practices for Black interviewees compared to Whites and/or if they used discriminatory practices in denying Dunlap’s candidacy.Explain why the plaintiff’s disparate (adverse) impact claim fails? The plaintiff’s disparate (adverse) impact claim failed because the theory requires the plaintiff to depict how a facially neutral employment entity judges more harshly on one group than another and how the actions do not justify the need of the business (Walsh, 2010). Dunlap did not proof with evidence that the procedures TVA used were practiced before in other hiring decisions.Although the district court concluded that TVA’s interview process had been manipulated to exclude African American candidates, the court of appeals disagreed because it did not believe there was analytical data that statistically prove how a protected group was adversely impacted.
The court found that Dunlap can only challenge his interview processes. Explain why the plaintiff’s disparate treatment claim succeeds? The plaintiff’s disparate treatment claim succeeded because he was able to prove discriminatory motives during the interview process, (Walsh, 2010).TVA’s interview procedures’ merit measuring and manipulation of the matrix scores of candidates were reasons why Dunlap succeeded with his disparate treatment claim. The court concluded that discrimination was a factor in the committee‘s decision during Dunlap’s interview. The District Court found that the TVA used discriminatory hiring practices to weed out people not of their preference, while they hired minority individuals to appease central management.
For instance, objective practices were used when Dunlap reported his attendance was almost perfect other than a few family illness days and received a low score of 3. 7. However, two White men provided almost identical answers and were given much higher scores of 4. 2 and 5. 5. The same incidence occurred when Dunlap’s safety scores were compared to other workers who had marked safety records, but received higher scores.
The court also determined that because of the irregularities of the hiring matrix score used by TVA, it could not be used to substantiate Dunlap’s rejection of employment.What should the TVA have done differently with regard to interviewing and selecting candidates for these jobs? First, TVA could have used a more diverse group of individuals on the committee. According to (Walsh, 2010), the ease with which bias can taint the interview process makes it advisable for employers to use multiple interviewers, preferably differing in race and in sex. The interview process should be standardized by using methods such as strategized interviews and scorecards should be tallied according to pre-established measures.Candidates should been evaluated in the same manner. In the future, TVA should ensure that the interview scores do not outweigh the combination of education, training and previous experiences interview value. Also, for documentation purposes, TVA should make it a practice to keep written details of their interviews for a period of time as a back up to what was observed at the time of the interview..
This will help determine which interviewer felt what about which candidate instead of relying on employee recollections of events.ReferencesGilmore, D. ( ).
“Employer?s manipulation of hiring process proves discriminatory intent – Employment and HR – United States. ” Articles on USA, Law, Accountancy, Management Consultancy Issues. M. Lee Smith Publishers LLC, 1 Aug. 2008. Retrieved from: http://caselaw. findlaw. com/us-6th-circuit/1092121.
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