Legal Implications of Testing Job Applicants

HR Resource
June 13, 2013 — 2,467 views  
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Pre-employment testing is one of the most important aspects of making sure that you get the cream of the crop talent into your business. Doing so ensures a reduced amount of training cost because the chosen individuals are, as per the tests conducted, shown to be brighter and faster at understanding certain aspects of the business.

Types of Pre-Employment Tests

There are many types of pre-employment tests that are primarily focused on helping you identify the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. Doing so helps you ascertain the value that they would add to your organization – which is the sole purpose of hiring interviews in the first place. The regular pre-employment testing methods see how candidates answer logic tests, skill tests, and aptitude tests and maybe even psychology tests.

Depending on the roles for which the hiring is required, there may be more tests or fewer tests. However, it is important to remember that, in most cases, these tests are illegal as they discriminate between different types of individuals. There are a number of laws against the psychology testing as well as personality testing such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the laws that protect minority applicants. 

The laws of drug tests and whether hiring processes can ask candidates to take drug tests vary from state to state. Some states allow drug tests to be administered only for positions that are concerned with public safety, some states allow these tests only for drivers, and others allow these tests to be carried out for in any profession. Because of the complications that these methods of pre-employment testing can land your organization in, it is highly recommended that you check with your state’s labor department to ensure that you are not breaching any laws.

EEOC Issues Pertaining to Job Applicant Testing

The EEOC, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is the ruling body when it comes to ensuring that employers all over the country follow the system of non-discrimination regarding sex, age, color, or disability. The EEOC issues pertaining to job applicant testing and pre-employment testing cover a large range of issues that have caused serious problems in the past. It is also charged with ensuring that protected groups are not favored in the selection or hiring process for a firm.

The EEOC also states that measures should be taken by companies to ensure that the rules set in place to avoid discrimination should not be taken casually by the management that are unaware of the same. As a result, regular training must be given to the management as well as human resource teams to ensure that all criteria are met. The EEOC also recognizes that it is essential to test candidates during a hiring process to ensure they are suited for the job at hand. The hiring teams should keep themselves updated about the changes in job requirements and update the tests in accordance with the same.

As always, ensuring that you chose the cream of the crop in a hiring batch is what is essential during any hiring process. All the EEOC requires is that all tests are fair and directly related to the job position being filled and there is no discrimination involved.

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