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Is Your Employment Screening Test Legal?

Some professions find employment tests to be a time-saver when it comes to finding qualified candidates. However, a recent filing by the Equal Employment Opportunity commission finds that those tests may not save time as much as they discriminate against some applicant groups.

EEOC v. Columbine Management Services asserts that the main problem with Columbine Management's employment screening test was that they weeded candidates out of the employment process based on variables that had nothing to do with their job-readiness. The test in this case was written, and the EEOC found the test used questions known to confuse those for whom English was not their first language.

Any company using pre-employment tests must also ensure that the tests are being scored fairly across all groups. In the Columbine case, the EEOC noted that African-American applicants were not given partial credit for partially correct answers, while other candidates were.

If your company or organization finds employment screening tests, how can you make sure your tests don't discriminate? Any pre-employment screening tests must also pertain to the job the applicant would be doing. The skills tested must be directly applicable, and must serve to analyze the applicant's essential skills.

If your company needs to use pre-employment screening to find qualified applicants, use these tips to make sure your tests are fair and compliant:

  • Choose the right tests and certify validity and reliability
  • Ensure tests meet all EEO laws
  • Conduct thorough research if purchasing tests from outside companies
  • Avoid overly personal or offensive test questions
  • Do not rely solely on test results to choose candidates

If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.

Our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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