Oregon Law Review : Vol. 90, No. 1, p. 033-068 : Disparate Impact’s Impact: The Gender Violence Lens
Although disparate impact theory often is touted as an important remedy for workplace inequality, in practice, it is less frequently used. Nevertheless, the theory can be a meaningful remedy for gender violence survivors who are subjected to adverse employment actions or termination for reasons that may not appear facially gendered. An employee may argue that the action had an impermissible gender-based disparate impact due to the disproportionate number of survivors who are women. Consequently, disparate impact would seem a natural remedy. This Article reviews infrequently explored issues that could be interpreted to limit the theory’s utility. It concludes that those limitations should not bar the theory’s use. Instead, disparate impact should offer an alternative remedy for the hidden role domestic and sexual violence plays in perpetuating women’s economic inequality.