EEOC Issues Fact Sheet on Employment Tests and Selection Procedures

by Patricia A. Schaeffer, Vice President-Regulatory Affairs

On December 3, 2007, the EEOC issued an extensive fact sheet on the application of federal anti-discrimination laws to employer tests and other selection procedures to screen applicants for hire and employees for promotion.

The fact sheet describes common types of employer administered tests and selection procedures. It also focuses on “best practices” for employers to follow when using employment tests and other screening devices.

The fact sheet also identifies employer best practices for testing and selection, which include:

  • Tests and other selection procedures should be administered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age (40 or older) or disability.
  • Employment tests and other selection procedures should be properly validated for the positions and purposes for which they are used.
  • If a selection procedure screens out a protected group, the employer should determine whether there is an equally effective alternative selection procedure with less adverse impact, and, if so, adopt the alternative procedure.
  • Employers should update the test specifications or selection procedures to ensure the test or selection procedures remains predictive of success in a job.
  • No test or selection procedure should be implemented without an understanding of its effectiveness and limitations for the organization, its appropriateness for a specific job, and whether it can be appropriately administered and scored.

The EEOC held a public hearing on May 16, 2007 in which witnesses addressed legal issues related to the use of employment tests and other selection procedures. EEOC’s fact sheet is one of the results from this meeting.

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