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EEOC Releases Fact Sheet On Employment Tests And Selection Procedures

Published by on December 3, 2007

The EEOC released a fact sheet today on employment tests and selection procedures.  It “provides technical assistance on some common issues relating to the federal anti-discrimination laws and the use of tests and other selection procedures in the employment process” and lists a number of “employer best practices” recommended by the EEOC.  The fact sheet also […]

The EEOC released a fact sheet today on employment tests and selection procedures.  It “provides technical assistance on some common issues relating to the federal anti-discrimination laws and the use of tests and other selection procedures in the employment process” and lists a number of “employer best practices” recommended by the EEOC.  The fact sheet also sets out several cases filed by the EEOC as illustrative of their position on screening practices.

The EEOC press release notes that “[c]harges of job discrimination filed with the EEOC raising issues of employment testing and exclusions based on criminal background checks, credit reports, and other screening tools have trended upward from 26 in Fiscal Year 2003 to 141 in FY 2006.”

On a practical note, employers must be careful implementing and using employment tests and standardized selection procedures.  It is extremely risky to use an off-the-shelf test that has not been analyzed and validated for use with a particular employer and job.  The EEOC rightfully points out that “Employers should ensure that tests and selection procedures are not adopted casually by managers who know little about these processes.”  As the settlements noted in the fact sheet attest, it can be expensive to discover in litigation against the EEOC that a test you have been using has discriminatory adverse impact (i.e. $8.55 million settlement with Ford Motor Co. for using a cognitive ability test to screen apprentice applicants that resulted in a statistically significant number of African American applicants being screened out).

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