Legal Risk in Selection: An Analysis of Processes and Tools
- 1.1k Downloads
This paper reviews a decade of employment litigation to illuminate the most legally dangerous selection devices and employment practices.
A sample (n = 312) of court cases drawn from 10 years of Bloomberg BNA case briefs was analyzed to determine which selection tools (e.g., biographical information blank, interview, cognitive ability test, and psychomotor test) and which selection processes (e.g., violations of the four-fifths rule, administrative inconsistencies, lack of documentation, failure to provide accommodations) are most at risk for litigation for unfair employment practices.
Results demonstrate that while some selection tools do attract legal scrutiny, dangerous hiring practices such as favoritism against protected classes and improper human resource documentation put employers at far greater risk of suit. When considering cases settled outside of court and those that continued to trial, the data reveal that employers lose employment discrimination cases at a rate nearing 90 % and suffer an average payout of over $1.5 million per case.
Just as legal challenges once drove the search for selection tools free of adverse impact, the current legal landscape demonstrates the necessity of fair and consistent selection processes. This paper provides evidence of common mistakes in implementing selection systems—mistakes that lead to costly legal battles.
This paper reduces cumbersome legal records into useful evidence of trends in recent employment law cases. Selection system designers and organizations who implement them will benefit from avoiding the risky hiring practices presented in this paper.
KeywordsProtected class Employment discrimination Employment selection Employment litigation Risk
- Allen v. Tobacco Superstore (2007). 475 F.3d 931 (8th Cir. 2007).Google Scholar
- Brown v. Alabama Dep’t of Transp (2010). 11th Cir., No. 08-14371.Google Scholar
- Bumphus v. Timec (1998). N.D. Cal., No. C-96-03585 SI.Google Scholar
- Cascio, W. F. (1998). Applied Psychology in Human Resource Management (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Commissioner Tucker v. Nob Hill General Stores (1998). EEOC, Charge No. 370-94-0117.Google Scholar
- Dennis v. Columbia Colleton Medical Center (2009). 290 F.3d 639 (4th Cir. 2002).Google Scholar
- Dunlap v. Tennessee Valley Authority (2008). 206 F.8a 121 (6th Cir. 2008).Google Scholar
- EEOC v. Americall Group (2008). N.D. Ill., No. 04-C-5554.Google Scholar
- EEOC v. AMR Eagle Inc. (2000). N.D. Tex., No. 3:98-CV-0763-MGoogle Scholar
- EEOC v. Consumers Energy (2001). No. 98-70846.Google Scholar
- EEOC v. Griffith Rubber Mills (1998). N.D. Ind., No. 98-CV-0183.Google Scholar
- EEOC v. Mike Fink Corporation (2010). M.D. Tenn., No. 3-96-0790.Google Scholar
- EEOC v. NationsBank of Tennessee (2001). E.D. Tenn., No. 3:00-CV-170.Google Scholar
- EEOC v. Phoenix Suns (2003). D. Ariz., No. CIV 02-0963 PHX JAT.Google Scholar
- EEOC v. Razzoo’s (2008). N.D. Tex., No. 3:05-cv-0562-P.Google Scholar
- Hartman v. Albright (2000). No. CA 77-2019 JR.Google Scholar
- Hill v. Merrill Gardens (2005). N.D. Ind., No. 1:04-cv-00248-TLS-RBC.Google Scholar
- Levy, P. E. (2010). Industrial Organizational Psychology: Understanding the organization (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
- Port Authority Asian Jade Society v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (2010). 05 Civ. 3835.Google Scholar
- Potence v. Hazleton Area School District (2004). No. 03-1535, 03-2647.Google Scholar
- Salgado, J. F., & Anderson, N. (2003). Validity generalization of GMA tests across countries in the European community. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 12(1), 1–17.Google Scholar
- Twomey, D. P. (2005). Employment discrimination law: A manager’s guide (6th ed.). Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.Google Scholar
- United States v. Baltimore City Public Schools (2001). D. Md., No. 01 CV 4187.Google Scholar