Eligibility Tests

Eligibility tests help determine if an employee is capable and qualified to perform the requirements of a position. Examples include intelligence tests, physical stamina, eye examinations, achievement and aptitude tests, and tests for personality traits. The purpose of this testing is to find the best individual for the job through achievement and personality indicators.

The problem with eligibility tests is that they may appear facially neutral, but they may have a disparate impact on a protected class. Nonetheless, the 1964 Civil Rights Act (Title VII) allows tests that have an adverse impact if the test has been professionally developed and validated. A validated test is one in which studies have proven that it evaluates what it says it is intended to evaluate. If used properly, a validated test will not only find the best candidate, but also reduce the chance for discriminatory choices based on conscious or subconscious employer bias.

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