TESTING

Blast from the past: Feds revive civil service exam

04/15/2015
Would-be government workers are again taking part in a ritual that had virtually disappeared for 43 years: taking a civil service exam to qualify for jobs with federal agencies.

Block hiring lawsuits with simple FAQ handout

04/06/2015

Do you explain up front to job applicants exactly how your hiring process will work? If not, consider providing a written notice that outlines the process—possibly in a simple frequently-asked-questions format. The FAQ will come in handy later if a disgruntled applicant sues, claiming she was blacklisted or suffered discrimination by not being hired or called for an interview.

Unless required, consider dropping drug tests

03/27/2015

For many employers interested in maintaining a safe and productive workplace, it doesn’t make sense to require pre-employment drug and alcohol screening or randomly make current employees provide urine or blood samples. That was the contrarian advice attorney James P. Reidy offered March 24 at the Society for Human Resource Management Employment Law & Legislative Conference.

Safeguard against failure-to-hire suits by explaining how hiring process works

03/09/2015

Do you explain upfront exactly how your hiring process works? If not, consider providing a written notice that outlines the process, especially if it’s a lengthy one and you collect applications even when you have no current openings. This may come in handy later if a disgruntled applicant sues, claiming she was blacklisted or suffered discrimination by not being called for an interview or otherwise being considered for a position.

Workplace Drug Testing

01/01/2015

HR Law 101: Drug testing and substance abuse prevention programs can involve substantial legal liability if employers don't manage and administer them properly. If your organization decides to implement a drug testing program, there are ways to minimize the risk of employee lawsuits ...

Who gets tested for drugs?

12/29/2014
The hiring stakes are particularly high for small businesses. That’s why about two-thirds of small business owners reported in a recent survey that they ask job candidates to undergo drug tests before being hired.

Does a 'shy bladder' constitute a disability?

04/30/2014

Some jobs are so safety-sensitive that employers are required to perform drug and alcohol tests on employees. For example, Department of Trans­­por­­ta­­tion regulations require regular tests for commercial truck drivers. But what if an employee can’t produce a urine sample?

Bill would target nurses who dodge drug diversion

02/27/2014
Following reports of numerous Minnesota nurses continuing to practice despite failing to abide by the state’s substance abuse diversion requirements, State Rep. Tina Liebling has introduced legislation to require regulators to suspend noncompliant nurses.

Are we allowed to ask questions about an applicant's family medical history?

10/10/2013
Q. We make offers to applicants contingent on passing a physical examination. As a part of the examination the doctor asks for a medical history, including questions about the applicant’s family medical history. We have heard that we should not ask about the applicant’s family medical history, but we aren’t sure if that’s true. Should we not ask for this information?

Austin F.D. stops hiring after EEOC claims testing bias

10/02/2013
The Austin Fire Department has stopped hiring candidates from its 2012 candidate list now that the EEOC has declared that its hiring test discriminated against black and Hispanic candidates. The EEOC pointed to disparities in pass rates between the groups.

Drug test inconclusive? Offer a second chance

08/07/2013
If a prehire drug test is inconclusive, you may want to offer the applicant a second chance to take the test.

Medical pot laws don't prohibit drug testing

07/23/2013
You are free to tell employees they can be terminated for having marijuana in their systems and then randomly test for the substance. That’s true even if a doctor recommends that the employee use medical marijuana.

DOJ settles bias suit against Corpus Christi P.D.

06/03/2013
The DOJ has reached a settlement with the city of Corpus Christi, resolving claims that the city police department’s hiring test violated Title VII. The DOJ charged that from 2005 to 2011, the police depart­­ment used a physical abilities test that unlawfully screened out female applicants for entry-level police officer positions.

Hazy excuses from the drug-screening trenches

05/14/2013
Staffing agencies conduct lots of drug tests—and hear lots of excuses when applicants fail. Scott Morefield, of AtWork Personnel Services, recounts these:

Poorly timed physical costs NYPD in ADA case

04/03/2013
The NYPD has agreed to a settlement in a disability discrimination case filed by the U.S. Department of Justice. An applicant for a school crossing guard position had filed the complaint and later sued, alleging that the NYPD required a physical examination im­­mediately upon completion of a job application.
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