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TESTING AND ASSESSMENT: AN EMPLOYER’S GUIDE TO GOOD PRACTICES U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration 2000Foreword PURPOSE of the GUIDE In today’s competitive marketplace and complex legal environment, employers face the challenge of attracting, developing, and retaining the best employees. Michael Eisner, CEO of the Disney Corporation, recognized the impact of personnel decisions on a business’ bottom-line when he remarked, “My inventory goes home every night.” This Guide is designed to help managers and human resource (HR) professionals use assessment practices to reach their organizations’ HR goals. It conveys the essential concepts of employment testing in easy-to-understand terms so that managers and HR professionals can: ™ Evaluate and select assessment tools/procedures that maximize chances for getting the right fit between jobs and employees. ™ Administer and score assessment tools that are the most efficient and effective for their particular needs. ™ Accurately interpret assessment results. ™ Understand the professional and legal standards to be followed when conducting personnel assessment. FORMAT of the GUIDE This Guide is structured around a set of assessment principles and their applications. The information is organized so that readers from a variety of backgrounds will find it to be clear and useful. ™ Each chapter covers a critical aspect of the assessment process. The issues involved in each aspect are outlined at the beginning of each chapter. ™ Thirteen principles of assessment are explained in the Guide. The last chapter (Chapter 9) serves as a review by summarizing the main points of the thirteen principles. ™ To assist readers in finding additional information, links to relevant websites are imbedded in the text throughout the Guide. ™ In addition, Appendix A offers a list of resource materials for those interested in more information on a particular topic. ™ Appendix B is a glossary for quick clarification of terms and concepts. The Guide is designed to provide accurate and important information regarding testing as part of a personnel assessment program. It gives general guidelines and must not be viewed as legal advice. i ii iAcknowledgments Testing and Assessment: An Employer’s Guide to Good Practices (Guide) was produced and funded by the Skills Assessment and Analysis Program in the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Policy and Research (OPR) under the direction of Gerard F. Fiala, Administrator. The Skills Assessment and Analysis Program is directed by Donna Dye, Personnel Research Psychologist, who provided technical direction and support for this Guide. The Guide was prepared under Department of Labor grants with the North Carolina Employment Security Commission, Southern Assessment Research and Development Center and National ONET Consortium; the New York Department of Labor; and the Utah Department of Employment Security. The Guide was completed under the direction of David Rivkin and Phil Lewis. Mr. Rivkin also served as editor of the Guide. Authors of this Guide were Syed Saad, Gary W. Carter, Mark Rothenberg, and Enid Israelson. Identification and incorporation of the website links was conducted by Dr. James Rounds and Thomas Smith of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Grateful acknowledgment is made to Laurie Koritko, Patrice Gilliam- Johnson, Jonathan Levine, and Brenda Dunn for their contribution. Thanks are also given to Ann Kump, Helen Tannenbaum, Don Kreger, Kristin Fiske, and Marilyn Silver whose valuable suggestions were very much appreciated. Grateful acknowledgment is also made to Suzan Chastain, Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor, Division of Civil Rights, and Hilary R. Weinerand and Cynthia Misicka of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for consultant review and insights into the final preparation of this Guide. Special Notice Material in this publication is in the public domain and may be reproduced, fully or partially, without permission of the federal government. Source credit is requested but not required. Permission is required only to reproduce any copyrighted material contained herein. This material will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 219-7664 TDD phone: (800) 326-2577 Telecommunications Device for the Deaf iiiTable of Contents Chapter Page 1 Personnel Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-1 2 Understanding the Legal Context of Assessment—Employment Laws and Regulations with Implications for Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . 2-1 3 Understanding Test Quality—Concepts of Reliability and Validity . . . 3-1 4 Assessment Tools and Their Uses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-1 5 How to Select Tests—Standards for Evaluating Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-1 6 Administering Assessment Instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-1 7 Using, Scoring, and Interpreting Assessment Instruments . . . . . . . . . . 7-1 8 Issues and Concerns with Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-1 9 A Review—Principles of Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-1 Appendix A Sources of Additional Information on Personnel Assessment . . . . . . . A-1 B Glossary of Assessment Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B-1 ivCHAPTER 1 Personnel Assessment Personnel assessment is a systematic approach to gathering information about individuals. This information is used to make employment or career-related decisions about applicants and employees. Information regarding organizations involved with personnel assessment can be found at the International Personnel Management Association (IPMA) sites: www.ipmaac.org/ and www.ipma-hr.org/ Assessment is conducted for some specific purpose. For example, you, as an employer, may conduct personnel assessment to select employees for a job. Career counselors may conduct personnel assessment to provide career guidance to clients. Information and links to various career guidance instruments are available in the Resource Library of America's Career InfoNet at: http://www.acinet.org/ Chapter Highlights 1. Personnel assessment tools: tests and procedures 2. Relationship between the personnel assessment process and tests and procedures 3. What do tests measure? 4. Why do organizations conduct assessment? 5. Some situations in which an organization may benefit from testing 6. Importance of using tests in a purposeful manner 7. Limitations of personnel tests and procedures—fallibility of test scores Principles of Assessment Discussed Use assessment tools in a purposeful manner Use the whole-person approach to assessment. 1-11. Personnel assessment tools: tests and procedures Any test or procedure used to measure an individual’s employment or career-related qualifications and interests can be considered a personnel assessment tool. There are many types of personnel assessment tools. These include traditional knowledge and ability tests, inventories, subjective procedures, and projective instruments. In this Guide, the term test will be used as a generic term to refer to any instrument or procedure that measures samples of behavior or performance. Personnel assessment tools differ in: Purpose, e.g., selection, placement, promotion, career counseling, or training What they are designed to measure, e.g., abilities, skills, work styles, work values, or vocational interests What they are designed to predict, e.g., job performance, managerial potential, career success, job satisfaction, or tenure Format, e.g., paper-and-pencil, work-sample, or computer simulation Level of standardization, objectivity, and quantifiability—Assessment tools and procedures vary greatly on these factors. For example, there are subjective evaluations of resumes, highly structured achievement tests, interviews having varying degrees of structure, and personality inventories with no specific right or wrong answers. All assessment tools used to make employment decisions, regardless of their format, level of standardization, or objectivity, are subject to professional and legal standards. For example, both the evaluation of a resume and the use of a highly standardized achievement test must comply with applicable laws. Assessment tools used solely for career exploration or counseling are usually not held to the same legal standards. 2. Relationship between the personnel assessment process and tests and procedures A personnel test or a procedure provides only part of the picture about a person. On the other hand, the personnel assessment process combines and evaluates all the information gathered about a person to make career or employment-related decisions. Figure 1 on page 1-3 highlights the relationship between assessment tools and the personnel assessment process. 1-2Tests, inventories, and procedures are assessment tools that may be used to measure an individual’s abilities, values, and personality traits. They are components of the assessment process. observations physical ability tests resume evaluations personality inventories application blanks/questionnaires honesty/integrity inventories biodata inventories interest inventories interviews work values inventories work samples/performance tests assessment centers achievement tests drug tests general ability tests medical tests specific ability tests Assessment process Systematic approach to combining and evaluating all the information gained from testing and using it to make career or employment-related decisions. Figure 1. Relationship between assessment tools and the assessment process. 3. What do tests measure? People differ on many psychological and physical characteristics. In testing, these characteristics are called constructs. For example, people skillful in verbal and mathematical reasoning are considered high on the construct mental ability. Those who have little physical stamina and strength are labeled low on the constructs endurance and physical strength. Constructs can be used to identify personal characteristics and to sort people in terms of these characteristics. Constructs cannot be seen or heard, but we can observe their effects on other variables. For example, we don’t observe physical strength but we can observe people with great strength lifting heavy objects and people with limited strength attempting, but failing, to lift these objects. Such differences in characteristics among people have important implications in the employment context. Employees and applicants vary widely in their knowledge, skills, abilities, interests, work styles, and other characteristics. These differences systematically affect the way people perform or behave on the job. 1-3These differences in characteristics are not necessarily apparent by simply observing the employee or job applicant. Employment tests can be used to gather accurate information about job-relevant characteristics. This information helps assess the fit or match between people and jobs. For example, an applicant’s score on a mechanical test reflects his or her mechanical ability as measured by the test. This score can be used to predict how well that applicant is likely to perform in a job that requires mechanical ability, as demonstrated through a professionally conducted job analysis. Tests can be used in this way to identify potentially good workers. Some tests can be used to predict employee and applicant job performance. In testing terms, whatever the test is designed to predict is called the criterion. A criterion can be any measure of work behavior or any outcome that can be used as the standard for successful job performance. Some commonly used criteria are productivity, supervisory ratings of job performance, success in training, tenure, and absenteeism. For example, in measuring job performance, supervisory ratings could be the criterion predicted by a test of mechanical ability. How well a test predicts a criterion is one indication of the usefulness of the test. 4. Why do organizations conduct assessment? Organizations use assessment tools and procedures to help them perform the following human resource functions: ™ Selection. Organizations want to be able to identify and hire, fairly and efficiently, the best people for the job and the organization. A properly developed and applied assessment tool may provide a way to select successful sales people, concerned customer service representatives, and effective workers in many other occupations. ™ Placement. Organizations also want to be able to assign people to the appropriate job level. For example, an organization may have several managerial positions, each having a different level of responsibility. Assessment may provide information that helps organizations achieve the best fit between employees and jobs. ™ Training and development. Tests are used to find out whether employees have mastered training materials. They can help identify those applicants and employees who might benefit from either remedial or advanced training. Information gained from testing can be used to design or modify training programs. Test results also help individuals identify areas in which self-development activities would be useful. Additional information on workforce training and development can be found at the Employment and Training Administration’s Workforce Development site: www.doleta.gov/employer/wd.htm ™ Promotion. Organizations may use tests to identify employees who possess managerial potential or higher level capabilities, so that these employees can be promoted to assume greater duties and responsibilities. ™ Career exploration and guidance. Tests are sometimes used to help people make educational and vocational choices. Tests may provide information that helps individuals choose occupations in which they are likely to be successful and satisfied. 1-4The Occupational Information Network (or ONET; www.doleta.gov/programs/onet/ and www.onetcenter.org/) is the nation’s primary source for occupational exploration and information. ONET provides comprehensive information on job requirements and worker competencies for over 1100 occupations. This Guide (Testing and Assessment: An Employer's Guide to Good Practices), as well as other guides in this series are available for downloading from the above Web sites. A variety of career exploration links and workforce development initiatives are also accessible. ™ Program evaluation. Tests may provide information that the organization can use to determine whether employees are benefiting from training and development programs. The American Evaluation Association (www.eval.org) is an international professional association concerned with various types of evaluation, including program evaluation. 5. Some situations in which an organization may benefit from testing Some examples of these situations include the following: ™ Current selection or placement procedures result in poor hiring decisions. ™ Employee productivity is low. ™ Employee errors have serious financial, health, or safety consequences. ™ There is high employee turnover or absenteeism. ™ Present assessment procedures do not meet current legal and professional standards. 6. Importance of using tests in a purposeful manner Assessment instruments, like other tools, can be extremely helpful when used properly, but counterproductive when used inappropriately. Often inappropriate use stems from not having a clear understanding of what you want to measure and why you want to measure it. Having a clear understanding of the purpose of your assessment system is important in selecting the appropriate assessment tools to meet that purpose. This brings us to an important principle of assessment. Principle of Assessment Use assessment tools in a purposeful manner. It is critical to have a clear understanding of what needs to be measured and for what purpose. 1-5Assessment strategies should be developed with a clear understanding of the knowledge, skills, abilities, characteristics, or personal traits you want to measure. It is also essential to know what each assessment tool you are considering using is designed to measure. 7. Limitations of personnel tests and procedures—fallibility of test scores Professionally developed tests and procedures that are used as part of a planned assessment program may help you select and hire more qualified and productive employees. However, it is essential to understand that all assessment tools are subject to errors, both in measuring a characteristic, such as verbal ability, and in predicting performance criteria, such as success on the job. This is true for all tests and procedures, regardless of how objective or standardized they might be. ™ Do not expect any test or procedure to measure a personal trait or ability with perfect accuracy for every single person. ™ Do not expect any test or procedure to be completely accurate in predicting performance. There will be cases in which a test score or procedure will predict someone to be a good worker, who, in fact, is not. There will also be cases in which an individual receiving a low score will be rejected, when he or she would actually be a capable and good worker. Such errors in the assessment context are called selection errors. Selection errors cannot be completely avoided in any assessment program. Why do organizations conduct testing despite these errors? The answer is that appropriate use of professionally developed assessment tools, on average, enables organizations to make more effective employment-related decisions than does the use of simple observations or random decision making. Using a single test or procedure will provide you with a limited view of a person’s employment or career-related qualifications. Moreover, you may reach a mistaken conclusion by giving too much weight to a single test result. On the other hand, using a variety of assessment tools enables you to get a more complete picture of the individual. The practice of using a variety of tests and procedures to more fully assess people is referred to as the whole-person approach to personnel assessment. This approach will help reduce the number of selection errors and boost the effectiveness of your decision making. This leads to an important principle of assessment. Principle of Assessment Do not rely too much on any one test to make decisions. Use the whole-person approach to assessment. 1-6CHAPTER 2 Understanding the Legal Context of Assessment—Employment Laws and Regulations with Implications for Assessment The number of laws and regulations governing the employment process has increased over the past four decades. Many of these laws and regulations have important implications for conducting employment assessment. This chapter discusses what you should do to make your practices consistent with legal, professional, and ethical standards. Chapter Highlights 1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (CRA) of 1964, as amended in 1972; Tower Amendment to Title VII 2. Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) 3. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) - 1964 4. Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures - 1978; adverse or disparate impact, approaches to determine existence of adverse impact, four-fifths rule, job- relatedness, business necessity, biased assessment procedures 5. Title I of the Civil Rights Act (CRA) of 1991 6. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - 1990 7. Record keeping of adverse impact and job-relatedness of tests 1 8. The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing - 1985; The Principles for the Validation and Use of Personnel Selection Procedures - 1987 9. Relationship between federal, state, and local employment laws Principles of Assessment Discussed Use only assessment instruments that are unbiased and fair to all groups. The general purpose of employment laws and regulations is to prohibit unfair discrimination in employment and provide equal employment opportunity for all. Unfair discrimination occurs when employment decisions are based on race, sex, religion, ethnicity, age, or disability rather than on job-relevant knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics. Employment practices that unfairly discriminate against people are called unlawful or discriminatory employment practices. 1 Currently under revision by the American Psychological Association. 2-1The summaries of the laws and regulations in this chapter focus on their impact on employment testing and assessment. Before you institute any policies based on these laws and regulations, read the specific laws carefully, and consult with your legal advisors regarding the implications for your particular assessment program. 1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (CRA) of 1964 (as amended in 1972); Tower Amendment to Title VII Title VII is landmark legislation that prohibits unfair discrimination in all terms and conditions of employment based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Other subsequent legislation, for example, ADEA and ADA, has added age and disability, respectively, to this list. Women and men, people age 40 and older, people with disabilities, and people belonging to a racial, religious, or ethnic groups are protected under Title VII and other employment laws. Individuals in these categories are referred to as members of a protected group. The employment practices covered by this law include the following: • recruitment • hiring • job classification • transfer • training • promotion • performance appraisal • compensation • union or other membership • disciplinary action • termination • fringe benefits Employers having 15 or more employees, employment agencies, and labor unions are subject to this law. The Tower Amendment to this act stipulates that professionally developed workplace tests can be used to make employment decisions. However, only instruments that do not discriminate against any protected group can be used. Use only tests developed by experts who have demonstrated qualifications in this area. Title VII of the CRA of 1964, as amended, can be found at www.dol.gov/dol/oasam/public/regs/statutes/2000e-16.htm 2. Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) This act prohibits discrimination against employees or applicants age 40 or older in all aspects of the employment process. Individuals in this group must be provided equal employment opportunity; discrimination in testing and assessment is prohibited. If an older worker charges discrimination under the ADEA, the employer may defend the practice if it can be shown that the job requirement of age is a matter of business necessity. Employers must have documented support for the argument they use as a defense. ADEA covers employers having 20 or more employees, employment agencies, and labor unions. Certain groups of employees are exempt from ADEA coverage, including public law enforcement 2-2personnel, such as police officers and firefighters. Uniformed military personnel also are exempt from ADEA coverage. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act is available online at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) site: www.eeoc.gov/laws/adea.html 3. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)—1964 The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, including Title VII, the ADEA, and the ADA. It receives, investigates, and processes charges of unlawful employment practices of employers filed by an individual, a group of individuals, or an EEOC commissioner. If the EEOC determines that there is “reasonable cause” that an unlawful employment practice has occurred, it is also authorized to sue on behalf of the charging individual(s) or itself. The EEOC participated in developing the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. As indicated earlier, the EEOC maintains a web site at www.eeoc.gov/ It includes general information, as well as specific information on laws, regulations and policy guidance, and is directed towards both employers and employees. 4. Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures—1978; adverse or disparate impact, approaches to determine existence of adverse impact, four-fifths rule, job- relatedness, business necessity, biased assessment procedures In 1978, the EEOC and three other federal agencies—the Civil Service Commission (predecessor of the Office of Personnel Management) and the Labor and Justice Departments—jointly issued the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. The Guidelines incorporate a set of principles governing the use of employee selection procedures according to applicable laws. They provide a framework for employers and other organizations for determining the proper use of tests and other selection procedures. The Guidelines are legally binding under a number of civil rights laws, including Executive Order 11246 and the Civil Rights Requirements of the National Job Training Partnership Act and the Wagner Peyser Act. In reviewing the testing practices of organizations under Title VII, the courts generally give great importance to the Guidelines’ technical standards for establishing the job-relatedness of tests. Also, federal and state agencies, including the EEOC, apply the Uniform Guidelines in enforcing Title VII and related laws. The Guidelines cover all employers employing 15 or more employees, labor organizations, and employment agencies. They also cover contractors and subcontractors to the federal government and organizations receiving federal assistance. They apply to all tests, inventories and procedures used to make employment decisions. Employment decisions include hiring, promotion, referral, disciplinary action, termination, licensing, and certification. Training may be included as an employment decision if it leads to any of the actions listed above. The Guidelines have significant implications for personnel assessment. 2-3The Uniform Guidelines are available on-line at www.acd.ccac.edu/hr/DOL/60_3_toc.htm, as are the Civil Rights Laws under which they are bound: www.dol.gov/dol/esa/public/regs/statutes/ofccp/eo11246.htm and www.wdsc.org/dinap/html/jtpa-toc-title.html One of the basic principles of the Uniform Guidelines is that it is unlawful to use a test or selection procedure that creates adverse impact, unless justified. Adverse impact occurs when there is a substantially different rate of selection in hiring, promotion, or other employment decisions that work to the disadvantage of members of a race, sex, or ethnic group. Different approaches exist that can be used to determine whether adverse impact has occurred. Statistical techniques may provide information regarding whether or not the use of a test results in adverse impact. Adverse impact is normally indicated when the selection rate for one group is less than 80% (4/5) that of another. This measure is commonly referred to as the four-fifths or 80% rule. However, variations in sample size may affect the interpretation of the calculation. For example, the 80% rule may not be accurate in detecting substantially different rates of selection in very large or small samples. When determining whether there is adverse impact in very large or small samples, more sensitive tests of statistical significance should be employed. When there is no charge of adverse impact, the Guidelines do not require that you show the job- relatedness of your assessment procedures. However, you are strongly encouraged to use only job-related assessment tools. If your assessment process results in adverse impact, you are required to eliminate it or justify its continued use. The Guidelines recommend the following actions when adverse impact occurs: ™ Modify the assessment instrument or procedure causing adverse impact. ™ Exclude the component procedure causing adverse impact from your assessment program. ™ Use an alternative procedure that causes little or no adverse impact, assuming that the alternative procedure is substantially equally valid. ™ Use the selection instrument that has adverse impact if the procedure is job-related and valid for selecting better workers, and there is no equally effective procedure available that has less adverse impact. Note that for the continued use of assessment instruments or procedures that cause adverse impact, courts have required justification by business necessity as well as validity for the specific use. The issue of business necessity is specifically addressed in Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (see next section). Additional information regarding the issue of business necessity may be found at http://www.smallbiz.findlaw.com/text/ 2-4An assessment procedure that causes adverse impact may continue to be used only if there is evidence that: ™ It is job-related for the position in question. ™ Its continued use is justified by business necessity. Demonstrating job-relatedness of a test is the same as establishing that the test may be validly used as desired. Chapter 3 discusses the concept of test validity and methods for establishing the validity or job-relatedness of a test. Demonstrating the business necessity of using a particular assessment instrument involves showing that its use is essential to the safe and efficient operation of the business and there are no alternative procedures available that are substantially equally valid to achieve the business objectives with a lesser adverse impact. Specific discussion of adverse impact within the Uniform Guidelines can be found at www2.dol.gov/dol/esa/public/regs/cfr/41cfr/toc_Chapt60/60_3.4.htm Another issue of importance discussed in the Uniform Guidelines relates to test fairness. The Uniform Guidelines define biased or unfair assessment procedures as those assessment procedures on which one race, sex, or ethnic group characteristically obtains lower scores than members of another group and the differences in the scores are not reflected in differences in the job performance of members of the groups. The meaning of scores on an unfair or biased assessment procedure will differ depending on the group membership of the person taking the test. Therefore, using biased tests can prevent employers from making equitable employment decisions. This leads to the next principle. Principle of Assessment Use only assessment instruments that are unbiased and fair to all groups. Use of biased tools may result in unfair discrimination against members of the lower scoring groups. However, use of fair and unbiased tests can still result in adverse impact in some cases. If you are developing your own test or procedure, expert help may be advisable to make sure your procedure is fair to all relevant groups. If you are planning to purchase professionally developed assessment tools, first evaluate the fairness of those you are considering by reading the test manuals and consulting independent reviews. The National Library of Education has developed an Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC). The ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation provides links to a variety of sources concerned with test fairness. Locate the link “Fairness in Testing” at www.ericae.net/ 2-55. Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 Title I of the CRA of 1991 reaffirms the principles developed in Title VII of the CRA of 1964, but makes several significant changes. As noted previously, the Act specifically requires demonstration of both the job-relatedness and business necessity of assessment instruments or procedures that cause adverse impact. The business necessity requirement, set forth in Title I of the CRA of 1991, is harder to satisfy in defending challenged practices than a business purpose test suggested by the Supreme Court earlier. Another important provision relates to the use of group-based test score adjustments to maintain a representative work force. The CRA prohibits score adjustments, the use of different cut-off scores for different groups of test takers, or alteration of employment-related test results based on the demographics of the test takers. Such practices, which are referred to as race norming or within-group norming, were used by some employers and government agencies in the past to avoid adverse impact. The CRA also makes compensatory and punitive damages available as a remedy for claims of intentional discrimination under Title VII and the ADA. Title I of the Civil Rights Act is available online at www.eeoc.gov/laws/cra91.html 6. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - 1990 Under the ADA, qualified individuals with disabilities must be given equal opportunity in all aspects of employment. The law prohibits employers with 15 or more employees, labor unions, and employment agencies from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities. Prohibited discrimination includes failure to provide reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities when doing so would not pose undue hardship to the organization. A qualified individual with a disability is one who can perform the essential functions of a job, with or without reasonable accommodation. In other words, an individual with a disability, who is able to perform the essential functions of a job, is considered qualified, even if the employer has to make reasonable accommodation to enable the individual to perform the job. ™ Disability is defined broadly to include any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual’s major life activities, such as caring for oneself, walking, talking, hearing, or seeing. Some common examples include visual, speech, and hearing disabilities; epilepsy; specific learning disabilities; cancer; serious mental illness; AIDS and HIV infection; alcoholism; and past drug addiction. Noteworthy among conditions not covered are current illegal use of drugs, sexual behavior disorders, compulsive gambling, kleptomania, and pyromania. 2-6™ Essential functions are the primary job duties that are fundamental, and not marginal to the job. Factors relevant to determining whether a function is essential include written job descriptions, the amount of time spent performing the function, the consequences of not requiring the function, and the work experiences of employees who hold the same or similar jobs. ™ Reasonable accommodation is defined as a change in the job application and selection process, a change in the work environment or the manner in which the work is performed, that enables a qualified person with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. Under the CRA, qualified individuals with disabilities must be provided reasonable accommodation so they can perform the essential job functions, as long as this does not create undue hardship to the employer. ™ Undue hardship is defined as significant difficulty or additional expense and is determined based on a number of factors. Some factors that are considered are the nature and net cost of the accommodation, the financial resources of the facility, the number employed at the facility, the effect on resources and operations, the overall financial resources of the entire organization, and the fiscal relationship of the facility with the organization. An accommodation that is possible for a large organization may pose an undue hardship for a small organization. The ADA has major implications for your assessment practices: ™ In general, it is the responsibility of the individual with a disability to inform you that an accommodation is needed. However, you may ask for advance notice of accommodations required, for the hiring process only, so that you may adjust your testing program or facilities appropriately. When the need for accommodation is not obvious, you may request reasonable documentation of the applicant’s disability and functional limitations for which he or she needs an accommodation. ™ Reasonable accommodation may involve making the test site accessible, or using an alternative assessment procedure. Requiring individuals with disabilities to use their impaired abilities for an employment test is prohibited unless the test is intended to measure one of these abilities. For example, under the ADA, when a test screens out one or more individuals with a disability, its use must be shown to be job-related for the position in question and justified by business necessity. ™ One possible alternative procedure, if available, would be to use a form of the test that does not require use of the impaired ability. Another possibility is to use a procedure that compensates for the impaired ability, if appropriate. For example, allowing extra time to complete certain types of employment tests for someone with dyslexia or another learning disability, or providing a test with larger print or supplying a reader to a visually impaired individual where appropriate, would be considered reasonable accommodation. ™ The ADA expressly prohibits making medical inquiries or administering medical examinations prior to making a job offer. Before making medical inquiries, or requiring medical exams, you must make an offer of employment to the applicant. You may make medical inquiries or require medical exams of an employee only when doing so is work-related and justified by business necessity. All medical information you obtain about your applicants and employees is 2-7strictly confidential and must be treated as such. Access to and use of this information is also greatly restricted. For a more detailed discussion of medical examinations see Chapter 4. Your organization should develop a written policy on conducting testing and assessment of individuals with disabilities. This will help ensure compliance with the provisions of the ADA. If you need assistance in complying with the ADA, there are several resources you may contact: ™ The Job Accommodation Network: (800) 526-7234 Web site: janweb.icdi.wvu.edu/ ™ Industry-Labor Council on Employment and Disability: (516) 747-6323 ™ The American Foundation for the Blind: (202) 408-0200, (800) 232-5463 Web site: www.afb.org/ ™ The President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities: (202) 376-6200 Web site: www50.pcepd.gov/pcepd/ztextver/ ™ Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers: (800) 949-4232 Web site: www.adata.org/ ™ EEOC Enforcement Guidance (clarifies the rights and responsibilities of employers and individuals with disabilities regarding reasonable accommodation and undue hardship): Web site: www.eeoc.gov/docs/accommodation.html The Americans with Disabilities Document Center web site (janweb.icdi.wvu.edu/kinder/) includes the ADA statute, regulations, ADAAG (Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines), federally reviewed tech sheets, and other assistance documents. Additional sources of information relating to the ADA and accommodations include the following: ™ ABLEDATA- Sponsored by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education. ABLEDATA’s primary mission is to provide information on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment. Web site: www.abledata.com/ ™ Trace Research and Development Center at the University of Wisconsin. Focuses on making off-the-shelf technologies and systems more accessible for everyone. Web site: www.trace.wisc.edu/about/ ™ National Business and Disability Council (NBDC) is a leading national corporate resource on issues related to the successful employment and integration of individuals with disabilities into America’s workforce. Web site: www.business-disability.com/home.asp 2-8™ The Access Board, United States Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board- The federal agency that develops the minimum guidelines and requirements for standards issued under the ADA. Web site: www.access-board.gov/adaag/html/adaag.htm 7. Record keeping of adverse impact and job-relatedness of tests 2 The Uniform Guidelines and subsequent regulations require that all employers maintain a record of their employment-related activities, including statistics related to testing and adverse impact. Filing and record-keeping requirements for large employers (those with over 100 employees) are generally more extensive than those for employers with 100 or fewer employees. To learn more about the specific requirements, refer to EEOC regulations on record-keeping and reporting requirements under Title VII, and the ADA, 29 CFR part 1602, and the Uniform Guidelines. 8. The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing - 1985; The Principles for the Validation and Use of Personnel Selection Procedures—1987 There are two resource guides published by major organizations in the testing field that will help you set up and maintain an assessment program. The principles and practices presented in these publications set the standards for professional conduct in all aspects of assessment. ™ The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. This publication was developed jointly by the American Psychological Association (APA; www.apa.org), the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME; ncme.ed.uiuc.edu), and the American Educational Research Association (AERA; www.aera.net). The Standards are an authoritative and comprehensive source of information on how to develop, evaluate, and use tests and other assessment procedures in educational, employment, counseling, and clinical settings. Although developed as professional guidelines, they are consistent with applicable regulations and are frequently cited in litigation involving testing practices. ™ The Principles for the Validation and Use of Personnel Selection Procedures. This publication was developed by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP; www.siop.org). Like the Standards, the Principles are also an excellent guide to good practices in the choice, development, evaluation, and use of assessment tools. However, their main focus is on tools used in the personnel assessment context. The Principles explain their relationship to the Standards in the following way: 2 29 CFR part 1602, as amended by 56 Fed. Reg. 35,753 (July 26, 1991); previously, record- keeping requirements did not apply to temporary and seasonal positions. 2-9The Standards primarily address psychometric issues while the Principles primarily address the problems of making decisions in employee selection, placement, promotion, etc. The major concern of the Standards is general; the primary concern of the Principles is that performance on a test . . . is related to performance on a job or other measures of job success. Compatibility of the Standards and the Principles with the Uniform Guidelines The Uniform Guidelines were intended to be consistent with generally accepted professional standards for validating and evaluating standardized tests and other selection procedures. In this regard, the Guidelines specifically refer to the Standards. It is strongly encouraged that you develop familiarity with both the Standards and the Principles in addition to the Uniform Guidelines. Together, they can help you conduct personnel assessment in a manner consistent with legal and professional standards. The Standards may be ordered from the APA web site (www.apa.org/books/standard.html) and the Principles is available for purchase at webm8426.ntx.net/order.html 9. Relationship between federal, state, and local employment laws Some states and localities have issued their own fair employment practices laws, and some have adopted the federal Uniform Guidelines. These state and local laws may be more stringent than corresponding federal laws. When there is a contradiction, federal laws and regulations override any contradictory provisions of corresponding state or local laws. You should become thoroughly familiar with your own state and local laws on employment and testing before you initiate and operate an assessment program. 2-10

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