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Do your pre-Hire tests carry lawsuit risks? New EEOC guidance helps make the call

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Hiring,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Preventing Workplace Violence

The EEOC last month issued an extensive fact sheet that explains how federal anti-discrimination laws apply to pre-hire tests.

The nonbinding guidance focuses on the best—and legal—practices for cognitive tests, personality tests, medical exams, credit checks and criminal background tests. It also highlights recent EEOC lawsuits that serve as cautionary tales for employers.

According to the EEOC, employers ramped up pre-employment testing in the wake of Sept. 11 security concerns, increasing workplace violence and theft. Also, the large-scale adoption of online job applications has motivated employers to seek efficient ways to screen large applicant pools in a nonsubjective way. As pre-hire testing has increased, so have the number of discrimination complaints surrounding them (see chart below).

To access the EEOC fact sheet, Employment Tests and Selection Procedures, go to  www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/factemployment_procedures.html.

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