The Status of the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures

AuthorJames S. Guseh,Andrew I. E. Ewoh
Published date01 September 2001
Date01 September 2001
Subject MatterArticles
The Status of the Uniform Guidelines
on Employee Selection Procedures
Legal Developments and Future Prospects
Prairie View A&M University
North Carolina Central University
This article examines the legal status of the Uniform Guidelines on Employee
Selection Procedures from the perspectives of judicial opinions and race-
norming provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Specifically,the analysis pro-
vides a discussion of important U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions with special
emphasis on their relevance for disparate impact theory.Because the 1991 Civil
Rights Act has altered the selection procedures somewhat, the article offers impli-
cations of these changes for personnel managers or specialists and recommends
modification of the Uniform Guidelines.
Discrimination in employment has been a major problem in employee
selection procedures in the United States since the end of the Civil War.
To address this endemic problem, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was
passed prohibiting discrimination in employment on the grounds of race,
color, religion, sex, or national origin. Title VII has been amended several
times to strengthen its provisions. One of these amendments was the passage
of the 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act to upgrade the enforce-
ment powers of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),
which was created in 1964.
The EEOC, along with other public agencies at the federal level,
adopted the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures.1The
basic principle of the Guidelines published in 1978 is to provide a frame-
work for determining the proper use of tests and other selection procedures.
Legally, an employer can continue to use a test that has adverse impact on
minorities as long as it is proven to be valid. Although this interpretation is
supported by case law, in practice, meeting the stringent requirements of
Review of Public Personnel Administration,Vol. 21, No. 3 Fall 2001 185-199
© 2001 Sage Publications
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