The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Social Media: Disparate Treatment

Reference Number: MTAS-1614
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: August 10, 2017
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Disparate treatment involves intentionally different and often adverse treatment of individuals based upon their membership in a protected class. An example of disparate treatment may be the evaluation of applicants in a particular protected class through social media and others through another process. This may happen when a city lacks a recruitment plan and neglects other forms of job advertising. Employers should not use the information found on social media sites in an inconsistent way, or in a different way, for applicants applying for the same job. In other words, if you are going to use social media to make judgments about one candidate class, you should absolutely look at the same information for all applicants and document this process.