Target Drops Pre-Employment Tests in $2.8M Settlement With EEOC Over Title VII, ADA Charge

Applicants for exempt-level professional jobs at Target Corp. can now expect to get a fair shake at those jobs without regard to their race or gender. Nor will they have to pass a pre-employment medical examination prior to an offer of employment.

That’s the result of a $2.8 million settlement announced Friday by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of a charge filed by one of the commissioners against the Minneapolis headquartered retailer.

Three employment assessments formerly used by Target disproportionately screened out applicants for exempt-level professional positions based on race and sex.  The tests were not sufficiently job-related and consistent with business necessity, and thus violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, EEOC found.

In addition, EEOC found that one of the assessments Target formerly used in its hiring process also violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The EEOC determined that this particular assessment performed by psychologists on behalf of Target was a pre-employment medical examination.

That’s a violation of the ADA, which prohibits from subjecting applicants to medical examinations prior to an offer of employment.

Target discontinued use of those tests during the EEOC’s investigation.

This outcome ought to be cautionary tale to other employers that use or want to use pre-employment tests. Make sure they are job-related and consistent with business necessity under Title VII. And if they involve medical examinations, don’t impose them until after you have determined that the applicant is qualified and have offered him or her the job.

Read more about the settlement.



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