Testing is an essential tool in combating discrimination.
What is testing? It’s a way of systematically investigating and documenting discrimination that might otherwise be very difficult to prove. No, let me restate that:
It’s badass undercover detective work.
Most types of discrimination occur when one person or a group of people is treated differently than another based on a feature that is protected by law: race; gender; disability; religion; etc. Often during a single interaction, it’s hard to know whether discrimination is happening. When an African-American family is told that an apartment is unavailable, it’s hard to tell: is the apartment really unavailable or is the landlord discriminating?
Solution: testing! Send a white family to ask soon after, and see if they get a different answer.
This type of testing is called “paired testing.” Other types of testing can also provide evidence of discrimination, for example:
- Calling apartments to see if they refuse to permit service animals.
- Calling potential employers to see if they will provide accommodations for interviews.
- Calling businesses using a relay service to see if the call is accepted.
- Sending people of different minority and majority groups into retail stores in person to request job applications or to see whether they are treated differently, for example, in whether they are allowed to use a check.
CREEC uses testing to investigate discrimination. If you believe you have experienced or witnessed discrimination that you would like us to test, please contact us.
If you want to be a tester/badass undercover discrimination detective, please fill out an application. We pay a stipend that varies depending on the complexity of the test.