HR Glossary
Adverse Impact

Adverse Impact

Updated on:
August 22, 2022


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Table of Content

What is an Adverse Impact?

An unseen negative consequence of an employment policy or practice is called an adverse impact. This often happens when policies and practices used to assess candidates or employees contain discriminatory factors.

An adverse impact occurs when you have a negative, harmful, or undesirable effect on someone or something.

Most often, adverse impact is found in policies and practices that inform candidate or employee assessments, such as:

  • Job requirements listed in a job description
  • Questions in hiring interviews
  • Performance assessments for advancement or termination

Adverse impacts may occur during or after you have an interaction with the resource. An adverse impact on a person can have psychological impacts, such as stress, anxiety, and depression. 

Adverse impact is necessary in order to protect individuals from discrimination. Adverse impact is defined as an action or policy that has a disproportionatelyly negative effect on a protected group. Adverse impact is necessary in order to ensure that individuals are treated fairly and equally.