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Employment Blog

Strength Exam May Cause Discrimination Complaint

Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Posted on October 20, 2015
Filed under Employment

A recent news article reported that a trucking company has settled an age and sex discrimination charge filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over a strength exam that it used when hiring drivers for its business.  The EEOC claimed that the strength test mandated by the company for truck driver applicants supported a claim for age and sex discrimination because employees over 40 and women were unable to pass the test.  EEOC also alleged that the exam created a standard of strength requirements that were more than what was needed for the truck driver position.  

This is another example of the aggressive activities of the EEOC to pursue claims of discrimination against local businesses.  The trucking company agreed that it would no longer use the strength exams as a condition of employment and reiterated its commitment to anti-discrimination policies going forward. 

Businesses have to recognize that any test used as part of the hiring process must be work related and validated to show that it was properly measuring the skills that were needed for the position being filled.  Business necessity is a critical component of a determination that a test used to screen applicants is appropriate for use by the company.