Drivers of Hiring Discrimination for Individuals with Disabilities

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Abstract

Introduction

Hiring discrimination in the workplace is defined as failure or refusal by an employer to engage a qualified applicant as an employee due to the existence or consequence of disability. The specific intent of this study is to determine what differentiates an allegation (perception of discrimination) from an actual discriminatory event (Merit Resolution).

Methods

Researchers used a data-mining approach, the Chi-square Automatic Interaction Detector (CHAID), to examine 19,527 resolved allegations of hiring discrimination in order to differentiate between Merit Resolution and Non-Merit Resolution outcomes.

Results

CHAID analysis confirmed that hiring discrimination is a complex matter with a variety of influences. Primary among these is the age of the Charging Party, with younger applicants (16–34) prevailing in their allegations 34% of the time. Within this subgroup, the sequence of predictor variables involves the Charging Party's impairment, followed by the Employer's industry classification. Behavioral disabilities, even among the young, result in generally lower Merit Resolution rates in hiring discrimination.

Conclusions

Providers of training and technical assistance regarding hiring and disability may be able to adjust their services accordingly on the basis of findings such as these.

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