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Disparate Impact

This term describes the idea that an action or policy that is applied equally to all persons (and that appears neutral) may have an unintended but ‘disparate’ or unequal impact on members of a protected class. In some cases, this can be interpreted as a violation of Fair Housing law. One commonly used example is a policy stating that any tenants involved in domestic disturbances or abuse will face eviction. Since 90-95% of all domestic violence victims are women, this policy may have a disparate impact based on gender, a protected class.

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