Winslow Solutions

Federal Guidelines on Employment Testing

Some misinformed managers believe that testing of applicants is illegal, or that the use of assessments in the selection process invites litigation. Nothing could be further from the truth. The EEOC, FEPC, Department of Labor, Department of Defense, U. S. Supreme Court, and other state and federal agencies have all declared that valid and reliable assessment programs contribute substantially to an equitable and non-discriminatory selection, placement, and development policy. Further, their position is that assessments can be an organization’s strongest defense against discrimination and wrongful termination law suits. The probability of employee litigation is significantly higher for organizations that do not use tests, than it is for organizations that do. This is because the courts are ruling that it is the responsibility of the organization, not the applicant, to determine the applicant’s suitability for the position. The best method to determine suitability is behavior assessments.


Department of Labor

“The order is founded on the belief that properly validated and standardized tests, by virtue of their relative objectivity and freedom from the biases that are apt to characterize more subjective evaluation techniques, can contribute substantially to the implementation of equitable and non-discriminatory personnel policies. Moreover, professionally developed tests, carefully used in conjunction with other tools of personnel assessment and complemented by sound programs of training and job design, can significantly aid in the development and maintenance of an efficient work force.”

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

“The guidelines in this part are based on the belief that properly validated and standardized employee selection procedures can significantly contribute to the implementation of non-discriminatory personnel policies, as required by Title VII. It is also recognized that professionally developed tests, when used in conjunction with other tools of personnel assessment and complimented by sound programs of job design, may significantly aid in the development and maintenance of an efficient work force and, indeed, aid in the utilization and conservation of human resource generally.”

Supreme Court at the United States

(Willie S. Griggs vs. Duke Power Company)

“Nothing in the Act precludes the use of testing or measuring procedures; obviously, they are useful. What Congress has forbidden is giving these devices and mechanisms controlling force, unless they are demonstrably a reasonable measure of job performance. Congress has not commanded that the less qualified be preferred over the better qualified simply because of minority origins. Far from disparaging job qualifications as such, Congress has made such qualifications the controlling factor, so that race, religion, nationality, and sex become irrelevant. What Congress has commanded is that any test used must measure the person for the job, not the person in the abstract.”

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