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The $500,000 question: Are your hiring tests legal?

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Hiring,Human Resources

If you use a test to screen job applicants, make sure it isn't unfairly blocking certain groups.

Dupont used a written test for entry-level jobs at a Waynesboro, Va., manufacturing plant, but the U.S. Labor Department said it unfairly eliminated qualified female applicants. Now the employer is paying 31 women a total of nearly $500,000.

If you are testing applicants:  

  • Make sure the exam complies with federal and state statutes, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
  • Be prepared to explain what every test measures and why you need it. Success on the job must be closely correlated to test success. 
  • Check that pass rates aren't disproportionate for certain groups of applicants. If the pass rate for a protected group is less than 80 percent of the pass rate of the group with the highest selection rate, a court is likely to find it discriminatory. 

For help locating a qualified professional testing service, contact the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology at (419) 353-0032.

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