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Legal issues and Employment Testing

1. Identify and discuss the problems with the validity of Wayne Paxton's qualifications. Which qualifications are valid? Which qualifications are not valid?

2. What changes would you recommend that Wayne Paxton make? Why?

3. What related court cases are applicable to this case study and why?

Wayne Paxton owns a small trucking firm that speciaizes in local and metro-area deliver in the U.S. city.

All employment activities are handled by Wayne, who has always hired employees on the basis of three qualifications:

1. They must have a high school diploma.
2.They must pass a short paper and pencil test which is given to all applicants.
3.They must have a valid driver's license if applying for teh position of driver.

the short test was devised by Wayne from questions found on a sample Schoalrship Aptitude Tests. The test consists of 50 vocabulary and mathematical questions. Anyone scoring below 35 is automatically rejected. last month two drivers quit, so Wayne advertised in the local paper for two new drivers. Ten people applied for the opening, but Wayne rejected four applicants because they were not high school graduates. Three others were rejected because of tests scores below 35. The two white males scored highest on thetest, had high school diplomas and had valid driver's licenses. this week Wayne was notified that two EEO complaints had been filed against this firm. A female compllainant alleged that the test does not measure a person's ability to drive and is not a valid predictor of job success. The other complainant, an African american male, alleged that the high school diploma requirement is not related to ability to do the job, and unfairlyy discriminates against African Americans. Wayne is trying to decide how to respond to these compalints.

Solution Preview

Many employers like to use pre-employment tests as a way to screen out applicants who are not suitable for the job. Types of tests might include skills tests, aptitude tests, psychological tests, personality tests, honesty tests, medical tests, and drug tests.
The first requirement, that the candidate have a high school diploma, is not likely to be an issue. A high school diploma represents minimum competence and education, and is required for most jobs in the US. (Side note: for an interesting article on the meaning of a high school diploma, take a look at Lookup/ADPsummary/$file/ADPsummary.pdf) The third requirement is also not problematic because possession of a driver's license is reasonably related to the job description; without the license, an applicant cannot legally perform the work.
The main problem here is with second requirement, the written test. There are many theories of liability that might explain the lawsuits Wayne is facing. Any employer administering such a test must take care to avoid discriminating against applicants who are protected ...