During a scheduled compliance review at Leprino Foods’ Lemoore West Facility, the OFCCP discovered that the use of a particular pre-employment test adversely impacted African-American, Asian, and Hispanic job applicants. Furthermore, it was determined that the exam – which tested applicant skills in mathematics, locating information and observation – was not job-related. Since the applicants were applying for entry-level on-call labor positions, the skills tested on the pre-employment assessment were not critical and related to performing those job positions.
“I am pleased that we were able to reach a fair settlement in this matter,” said OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu. “While employers can and should hire the most qualified workers for the job, they cannot create artificial barriers to employment that unfairly block any individual from competing for good jobs.”
In addition to paying the $550,000 in back wages, interest, and benefits to the 253 minority workers who were not hired because they failed the exam, Leprino has agreed to discontinue using the test for this purpose, hire at least 13 of the original class members, undertake extensive self-monitoring measures, and correct any discriminatory practices.
In light of the recent consent decree requiring federal contractor Leprino Foods to pay $550,000 in back wages, interest and benefits, now is the perfect time for organizations to take a good look at their pre-employment assessments.
Are they valid?
Making sure that your organization is using validated pre-employment assessments can assist your company in hiring the best people for the job and possibly provide litigation protection.
“Validation generates two major benefits for the employer. First, validation helps insure that the selection process is measuring key and relevant job requirements in a reliable and consistent manner. This, of course, helps select better workers into the workforce. Even if the validation process increases the effectiveness of a selection process only slightly, the results over years and hundreds of applicants can sometimes be astounding. Second, the validation process generates evidence (in the event of litigation) that the selection procedures are ‘. . . job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity’ (to address the requirements of the 1991 Civil Rights Act, Section 703[k][A][i]).
Related to the latter benefit, validated selection procedures can also dissuade potential plaintiffs from even beginning the lawsuit process if the relationship between the selection procedure and the job is sometimes self-evident (called ‘face validity’). Applicants are much less likely to challenge a selection procedure if it ‘smells and looks like the actual job.’ Likewise, plaintiff attorneys will be discouraged to gamble the time and money necessary to wage a ‘validation war’ if the employer has conducted good-faith validation studies.”
–from page 31 in Adverse Impact and Test Validation: A Practioner’s Handbook, 3rd Edition by Daniel A. Biddle
What is test validation? Heather Patchell, M.A., answers that question in this two minute audio clip:
[haiku url=”WhatIsValidation-HP.mp3″ title=”What is Test Validation”]