EEOC Holds Public Meeting, Fans Go CrazyPosted: May 25, 2007 | Author: Jamie Madigan | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
Someone on the IPMAAC listserv noted that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently had a public meeting where they invited people to listen to presentations from experts on “emerging trends in workplace testing and selection procedures.” These included some of the EEOC attorneys, those affected by recent cases, and other huge brains in the organizational psychology world. Too bad it was in Washington, D.C.; I’d have love to have gone.
One person who did go, however, was kind enough to write up a summary and post it to the IPMAAC list. That summary can be found by performing clicking motions here. It sounds like there were various retrospectives and case studies (literally) involving recent claims with which the EEOC threw its considerable weight. Some of the more interesting parts of the discussion involved companies getting in trouble when they didn’t follow through on the Uniform Guidelines’ recommendation to search for alternative predictors with lower adverse impact. I think this bit of the document usually gets ignored, since a lot of people think that “Eh, that’s just in there to sound good,” or “Nobody really does that.” Well, apparently they do.
I also found this part on the use of credit scores for selection interesting:
Adam Klein brought up the problem of employers using credit
scores to make selection decisions. Employers like using credit scores
because the info is cheap and easy to obtain. However, there are
several problems with using credit scores: credit scores were developed
for use in credit decisions, not employment decisions; there are several
valid reasons why someone would have no credit score at all; and there
are no studies showing a correlation between credit scores and job
performance. Klein notes that the adverse impact involving credit
scores is 2:1. Klein suggested that the EEOC issue guidance on the use
of credit scores in making employment decisions.
It still surprises me every time someone mentions seriously using credit reports as a selection tool. I always countner by asking exactly what they think they’re measuring with that, and the retort is usually something along the lines of “Well, how can we expect them to manage our company’s assets if they can’t manage their own?” This is a hard argument to get through sometimes, because it’s like hiring a slob to be a housekeeper or a morbidly obese person to sell gym memberships. But there’s just so much measurement error in these reports, so much adverse impact, and you really don’t need to look any further than the fact that none of the research (that I’ve seen, anyway) shows any validity for them for the kinds of jobs managers want to use them for.
Anyway, the summary of the EEOC meeting is worth a read, and hopefully they’ll put out some kind of white paper or summary of their own in the near future.