We don't often comment on employment law on this blog, but I suppose it was only a matter of time before "disparate impact" litigation was extended to its logical extreme.* The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority doesn't want Douglas El as a bus driver to drive around people with mental and physical disabilities because he is a murderer. El claims this constitutes discrimination on the basis of race. "[H]e argued that the policy has a disparate impact: because African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to have a criminal record...." The Third Circuit did not reject this claim out-of-hand, but only because of a lack of evidence on El's part. (Hat tip: Decision of the Day.)
It is true that this is a very old murder conviction entered when El was very young. Even so, it's still a murder conviction, and the notion that the Civil Right Act prohibits an employer from discriminating between criminals and law-abiding people, especially when hiring employees to care for particularly vulnerable people, strikes me as bizarre.
*"All rights tend to declare themselves absolute to their logical extreme." Hudson Water Co. v. McCarter, 209 U.S. 349, 355 (1908) (Holmes, J.).