A Modest Rx, Ctd.

A law-knowing FBvian explains why race has long been a factor in the awarding of contracts at Dallas City Hall:

The problem arises partly because of the “disparate impact” provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which provide that a person in a protected class can win a discrimination claim based on statistics, rather than proof of actual discrimination. …

Unless an employer can prove that the demands of the work require the use of a hiring scheme that results in fewer minority jobs than would be statistically expected in that job market, the failure to hire the expected number of minority applicants is deemed to be discrimination. The result has been that employers end up being pressured to ensure that a certain number of jobs are awarded to the protected groups to avoid claims that the numbers don’t add up.

Deciding to hire someone is a complicated business. … But, under the disparate impact provisions of the Civil Rights Act, if an employer hires fewer minorities than would be expected (and figuring out what’s “expected” is a whole other kettle of fish), all of those subjective judgments are assumed to be discriminatory, and, therefore, against the law.

This law has done a lot of good. It has prevented real bigots from lying. They can’t say, “I just hire the folks I think are best for the job — race has nothing to do with it” when, in fact, race has everything to do with it. But, just like every law that attempts to legislate good behavior, it also has had unintended evil consequences.

Bottom line: The folks who’ve made good dough manipulating this system probably needn’t fear losing their gigs anytime soon.


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