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Supreme Court Embraces ‘Disparate Impact' Theory


Alyssa Engelberg was quoted in Las Vegas Business Press on July 6, 2015. The article “Supreme Court Embraces ‘Disparate Impact’ Theory” discussed  the Supreme Court's recent ruling, in which they ruled that the Fair Housing Act of 1968 can be interpreted broadly, allowing lawsuits under a legal theory that civil rights group claim is a crucial tool to fight housing discrimination.

Alyssa was quoted on her take of the ruling.

Alyssa said that because disparate impact claims are easier to bring than claims of intentional discrimination, this ruling would have a bigger effect for lawyers.

If any property managers or private landlords are concerned about this ruling, however, the first thing to do is to make sure the Fair Housing Act applies to them, she said. If those entities covered by the act are concerned there is a disparate impact linked to their policies, they should review those policies and contact an attorney, Alyssa said.

“It doesn’t apply to small, owner-occupied buildings with fewer than five apartments and one is occupied by the owner or to single-family homes that are sold or rented without a broker,” she said. “It generally applies to bigger entities. As a whole, if an individual is concerned about it, they should keep an eye on the effects of their policies and practices. You don’t want to have obvious policies that are racially discriminatory.”

To read the full article, please visit Las Vegas Business Press.

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