USE OF STATISTICAL EVIDENCE IN EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION LITIGATION
AbstractThis article examines the use in Canada and the United States of aggregate statistical evidence to establish and rebut allegations of employment discriminlation. It reviews United States procedures, including adverse treatment and adverse impact, and discusses the use of statistical evidence in United States judicial and administrative contexts. The probity of statistical parity studies depends on two central issues : first, whether the comparison is appropriate and, second, whether the comparison is "practically significant". The article discusses problems, difficulties, pitfalls and solutions pertaining to these and related issues. It also discusses the use of regression analysis to examine wage discrimination, and evaluates the Equal Employment Opportuniry Commission's "four-fifths" rule. The article then considers proof of employment discrimination in Canada. Recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions suggest Canadian human rights legislation now incorporates adverse impact discrimination. Consequently, issues relating to aggregate statistical data are now a central concern. The analytical framework presented here can facilitate correct evaluation of Canadian parity studies.
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