The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) recently answered the question of whether the Massachusetts anti-discrimination statute Chapter 151B recognizes a disparate impact theory of discrimination. In Burbank Apartments Tenant Association v. Kargman, the SJC held that Chapter 151B recognizes such a theory. In doing so, however, the SJC adopted the framework from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., and held that in pleading a disparate impact claim under Chapter 151B, a plaintiff must satisfy a rigorous burden. Because the Burbank Apartments plaintiffs failed to meet the rigorous burden, the SJC affirmed the dismissal of their claims.
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