Disparate Treatment Claims


What does "disparate treatment" mean?


"Disparate treatment" refers to a policy or practice that explicitly treats women differently from men.


What kind of claims can be brought as a disparate treatment claim?


There are many kinds of disparate treatment claims that may be brought. A claim against an employer who is paying you less than a man performing the same job is one example. Another example is a claim against an employer who refuses to promote you because you are a woman. Basically, if an employer intentionally acts against you with regard to your employment just because you are a woman, you may have a claim.


I think that a company policy treats me differently because of my gender, how do I prove it?


You must begin by making an initial showing of discrimination. Exactly what you will need to prove in this initial showing will differ depending on the type of discrimination you are facing, i.e. unequal pay, discrimination in promotion, etc. (Please see


What could my employer do to deny my allegations, and how do I respond to their denials?


Your employer will have the opportunity to present legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons why a company policy treats you differently. If it is able to do this, you must then demonstrate that the reasons your employer has offered are pretextual, i.e. that the real reason for the differential treatment was discrimination. You will need to provide proof of your employer's discriminatory motive, but the proof can be inferred from circumstantial evidence. In other words, you don't need to provide direct evidence (an example of direct evidence would be a comment from your employer that "women aren't smart enough to do this job") but only evidence which indicates that it is more likely that your employer was motivated by discrimination than not.


Does it matter when the discrimination occurred?


Yes. You must sign and file a verified complaint in writing with the Missouri State Human Rights Commission ("the Commission") within one hundred eighty (180) days of the alleged act of discrimination. For more information, please see What Does the Law Say.


What options do I have if I my employer has fewer than 6 employees?


If your employer has fewer than six (6) employees you may not sue under the Missouri Human Rights Act. However, you may have other options. For more information, please see What Does the Law Say.


If I prove my disparate treatment claim, what kind of remedies am I entitled to?


You may be entitled to equitable relief or monetary damages. For more information, please see Remedies.



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