Office of Diversity, Equity, and AccessUniversity of Illinois
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Unlawful discrimination refers to unfair or unequal treatment of an individual or group based on his/her/their membership in a class protected by federal and/or state law. The law forbids discrimination in every aspect of employment – job advertisements, recruitment, application and hiring, background checks, job referrals, job assignments, promotions, pay, benefits, discipline, discharge, and employment references.

There are two types of discrimination – disparate treatment and disparate impact.

  • Disparate treatment refers to intentional differential treatment of an individual or group protected by federal and/or state law.
  • Disparate impact refers to policies, practices, rules, or other systems that appear to be neutral, but result in a disproportionate negative impact on protected groups, if the polices or practices at issue are not job-related and necessary to the operation of the business.