FW: RE: Technical Test

Subject: FW: RE: Technical Test
From: "Hager, Harry (US - East Brunswick)" <hhager -at- dc -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 14:26:41 -0600

Andrew,

In response to the following question from Alan Miller:

> Have you considered this: pre-employment tests are a common source of
> lawsuits and EEOC complaints.

Andrew Plato wrote:

<snip>Yes, it has been considered. All our positions are considered
TECHNICAL
positions and therefore merit a test on TECHNICAL competence. 9 times out of
10
this test is administered over the phone, where I don't even know the
person's
color, disability status, veteran status, etc. There is also no written
record
of this test. The test is administered verbally as part of the interview.

It is perfectly legal to question people on their technical skill.
Furthermore,
I fear a world where we are not allowed to test people's skills because of
litigation-happy lawyers.
</snip>

Unfortunately, I think may be underestimating today's litigious climate in
the U.S.

I think you might consider being very afraid.

In today's world of hiring and firing people, nothing is perfectly legal
until the courts say so, and the courts might change their mind tomorrow.

If you and your company cannot prove that the exact same test is given to
all applicants, that the test is administered in the exact same manner to
all applicants (not 9 out of 10 times), that the test is indeed a
prerequisite for employment, you are open to a lawsuit. Even if you can
prove all this and more, there is no guarantee that you won't be sued.

It doesn't matter if you think a test is necessary. It doesn't matter if you
think the test is fair. It doesn't matter if you think the test is only a
part of the criteria for hiring somebody. It matters only what some lawyers,
judges, and juries think.

Sure, I'm over dramatizing the issue, but I think you are underestimating
the potential problems involved with the issue. You may be betting the
company every time you give a test.

H. Jim Hager
hhager -at- dc -dot- com

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