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Legal and Ethical Considerations in Testing

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The company I work for is considering changing its applicant testing process. My supervisor has asked you to address the following in a document that will be sent to other managers within the organization.

I need a short response discussing some of the legal and ethical considerations in testing. Given these considerations, which testing system I believe may be the most legitimate? I also need to compare and contrast testing methods specifically to demonstrate how the methodologies I selected may have more negative ethical and legal consequences than the one you have selected.

In my answer I also must discuss ways in which advancements in technology have helped to make the applicant testing and selection process more efficient and effective.

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This solution explains some of the legal and ethical considerations in testing, and which testing system may be the most legitimate. It also compares and contrast testing methods as a function of ethical and legal consequences.

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Please refer to file response attached (also presented below), as well as the other two highly relevant resources. I hope this helps and take care.


Let's take a closer look (see attached response for hyperlinked information):

1. I need a short essay discussing some of the legal and ethical considerations in testing. Given these considerations, which testing system I believe may be the most legitimate?

The Federal government's need for a uniform set of principles on the question of the use of tests and other selection procedures has long been recognized. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Civil Service Commission, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Justice jointly have adopted these uniform guidelines to meet that need, and to apply the same principles to the Federal Government as are applied to other employers. These guidelines incorporate a single set of principles which are designed to assist employers, labor organizations, employment agencies, and licensing and certification boards to comply with requirements of Federal law prohibiting employment practices which discriminate on grounds of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. They are designed to provide a framework for determining the proper use of tests and other selection procedures. These guidelines do not require a user to conduct validity studies of selection procedures where no adverse impact results. However, all users are encouraged to use selection procedures that are valid, especially users operating under merit principles. In relation to prior guidelines, these guidelines are based upon and supersede previously issued guidelines on employee selection procedures. These guidelines have been built upon court decisions, the previously issued guidelines of the agencies, and the practical experience of the agencies, as well as the standards of the psychological profession. These guidelines are intended to be consistent with existing law (see attachment for full article of ethical and legal issues for testing systems "UNIFORM GUIDELINES ON EMPLOYEE SELECTION PROCEDURES").

See Question and answers at http://www.uniformguidelines.com/qandaprint.html that give valuable information about ethical and legal considerations for testing systems for employment purposes.

The following information is from an online site that is promoting their product HIRES testing system (i.e., combination Aptitude and Personality), one that I suggest later that you use as your testing system of choice (of course it is up to you though). This author gives a good overview of the various testing systems and the ethical and legal considerations for each:


IN A WORD - One word answers the question "Is Employment Testing Legal?", that word is "YES". However, the "yes" must be qualified as long as a Professionally Developed employment test is administered according to the test developer's intended use. For example, it is legal to test accounting applicants with a math test, however, it could be considered a discriminatory practice to screen custodial employees with the same math test as the math competency for an account is very different than a custodian. It isn't the test that is "legal" or "illegal", it is the APPLICATION of the test that makes the difference!

APTITUDE TESTS - One type of employment test is the Aptitude Test. Some employers want to test an applicant's knowledge of a particular subject that pertains to the job for which they are being considered. This is perfectly legal, and when applied properly, can be a valuable tool. Be sure and consider the following, however, before administering any Aptitude or I.Q. test:

· Be sure the test is "Professionally" developed. You can read more in the links below about a Supreme Court decision that requires Aptitude and I.Q. tests to be "professionally" developed. (See Griggs vs. Duke Power.) HIRE SUCCESS? On-line Aptitude Tests have been professionally developed by one of our consultants with a Doctorate Degree in Education. If you are considering other tests, ask for the credentials of who developed the test. If you find that a computer programmer or sales manager developed the Math, Spelling and Vocabulary tests, for example, be very cautious before using such a test.
· Make sure that ALL the questions on the test are APPLICABLE to the job for which you are considering hiring the candidate. If some questions are NOT applicable, be sure to eliminate those questions from the scoring and DO NOT base a ...

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