Selecting the right candidate for the job is crucial to employers in California and elsewhere. To help select the right candidate, some companies utilize pre-employment testing; however, these tests must be in compliance with the law. Some of the tests that were conducted by Target were eliminating candidates based on legally protected statuses and constituted pre-employment discrimination according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The suspected situation was brought to the attention of the EEOC after there were speculations of potential violations. The EEOC conducted an investigation, and it was concluded that there were three tests being administered that were in breach. These tests disproportionately screened out candidates on the basis of gender and race.
One of the tests used questions that were asked and analyzed by psychologists, and this information was used by Target. This was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the ADA, employers can have employees take medical examinations after a job offer has been extended but only if all similarly situated employees take it also. Tests were also administered for professional positions within Target that would screen out female, black and Asian candidates. Additionally, Target was found not to be keeping adequate documentation related to the impact of its hiring processes.
The spokesperson for Target stated that these hiring procedures impacted only a fraction of the millions of applicants. Nevertheless, Target settled the case with the EEOC for $2.8 million, which will be distributed among all of the affected individuals in California and across the country. Target agreed to settle the pre-employment discrimination complaint because the tests that were in question were no longer used, and it would be too costly to pursue the case. Going forward, Target will also monitor its testing to make sure that it is not discriminatory and report the findings to the EEOC each year.
Source: Fortune, “Target to pay $2.8 million for hiring discrimination charges“, Claire Zillman, Aug. 24, 2015