Woman Says Employment Test Was Biased
Several months back, a friend who is employed as an executive for a top 10 retail chain and I were sharing stories about our kids’ efforts to land part-time jobs.
At one point, I asked if she couldn’t get her kid a job working at one of the chain’s stores. She told me that all prospective employees were required to go through a screening process that determined who was brought in for an interview and who was not. Her kid never got a call back for an interview.
"Good thing I’m not looking for a job here," she said at the time. "I don’t think I’d pass the test either."
The reason for sharing this personal anecdote is in reference to a recent Wall Street Journal story about Vicky Sandy, a hearing and speech impaired woman in West Virginia, who brought a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Kroger after scoring low on a personality test administered as part of the chain’s screening process.
Tests such as the one used by Kroger in this case are legal, as long as they are not set to intentionally discriminate against applicants based on EEOC criteria. Very few complaints, only 164 out of 100,000 fielded by the EEOC last year, have been tied to these types of tests.
Condon McGlothlen, an employment lawyer at Seyfarth Shaw LLP, told the Journal that complaints are so low, in part, because few prospects see their test results.
- Do New Job Tests Foster Bias? – The Wall Street Journal
- Woman sues company who ‘didn’t hire her after she failed a job personality test’ – Daily Mail
Are you for or against the use of computerized pre-employment tests? What changes would you make to improve the employment screening process at retail?