Human Resources Legal Issues In Staffing

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Heneman, H. H., Judge, T. A., Kammeyer-Mueller, J. (2011). Staffing Organizations (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill,Chapter 2.

**Sharf, J. C. & Jones, D. P. (2000). Employment Risk Management. In J.F. Kehoe, Managing Selection in Changing Organizations (pp. 271-318). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

**Evans, D. (2003). A comparison of other-directed stigmatization produced by legal and illegal forms of affirmative action. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 121-130.

Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures - on the following website:


Although EEO and AA are legal, not psychological topics, they have had an enormous impact on the science and practice of Personnel Psychology, especially as it relates to staffing. In fact, some have called the EEO laws of the 60’s and 70’s the "Bills of Employment Rights" for I/O Psychologists. This is because employers were suddenly responsible for using properly developed indicators of individual differences (instead of poor indicators like class membership, familial relationship, or demographics) as the basis for selection decisions. I/O psychologists are rigorously trained in how to construct adequate psychological measurements, and have a long tradition of providing such measures to organizations (since about 1908). Thus, their skills were suddenly in very broad demand. Since that time, virtually all the large organizations in the US (private and public) have used, and in many cases hired as permanent staff, I/O psychologists. Their value of course goes beyond selection and staffing issues, and I/O psychologists are involved in a tremendous variety of activities within organizations.

One thing that I want to make clear is what the protected classes include. These are race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Inevitably somebody will get confused and say that “women” or “African-Americans” are protected classes. Technically, this is too narrow. That is, a white male is just as protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as anybody else. For further information on the protected classes, go here:

In order to determine adverse impact, the four-fifths rule can be applied. This has four basic steps:

  • Calculate the rate of selection for each group (divide the number of persons selected from a group by the number of total applicants from that group).
  • Observe which group has the highest selection. This could be, for instance, men or women.
  • Calculate the impact ratios by comparing the selection rate for each group with that of the highest group (divide the selection rate for a group by the selection rate for the highest group).
  • Observe whether the selection rate for any group is substantially less (i.e., usually less than four-fifths, or 80 percent) than the selection rate for the highest group. If it is, adverse impact is indicated in most circumstances.

For example:

Job Applicants Number Hired Selection Rate (Percent Hired)

A) Men 100 52 52/100 = 52%

Women 50 14 14/50 = 28%

B) The group with the highest selection rate is men, with 52%

C) Divide the women selection rte (28%) by the men selection rate (52%). The women rate is 53.8% of the men rate.

D) Since 53.8% is less than four-fifths, or 80 percent, adverse impact is indicated.

A handy adverse impact calculator can be found at - look here for additional explanations. Have fun!

Important terms from readings:

EEO, Civil Rights Acts, Affirmative Action, Executive Order 11246, tort, common law, selection procedure, four-fifths rule, applicant, discrimination, disparate treatment, adverse impact, content, criterion, and construct validation, ADA, ADEA, BFOQ, CRA



Please answer any three of the following questions. This assignment is worth 15 points – 5 points per question.

1.What is the difference between EEO and AA? Define each term and discuss their sources (legislative, executive, judicial branch of government) and their intended purposes. How do they support each other? How do they conflict?

2.What is the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures? To whom do the guidelines apply? What do they cover?

3.The Guidelines "do not require a user to conduct validity studies of selection procedures where no adverse impact results." What is a selection procedure? What is adverse impact? How would you determine whether your selection procedure had adverse impact? Why would an employer not want to find out whether a selection procedure was valid?

4.What is the nature of the distinction between Affirmative Action (AA) and quotas?

5.Define criterion-related, content, and construct validation. How are they related? Which is most important under the law? Which is most important to an employer trying to select the best applicant?

6.Based on Sharf and Jones’ analysis, what would you recommend employers use for selection of job applicants?

Dear Tutor,

Please read all supporting documents carefully.

Please cite your sources in your answers (Last Name, Year) and include a reference section at the end.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Journal of Applied Psychology 2003, Vol. 88, No. 1, 121–130 Copyright 2003 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 0021-9010/03/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.88.1.121 A Comparison of the Other-Directed Stigmatization Produced by Legal and Illegal Forms of Affirmative Action David C. Evans Union College Recent studies have begun to show that the stigma of incompetence sometimes directed toward the beneficiaries of affirmative action may be significantly reduced as the preferences granted to women and minorities become more moderate. The author examined whether the stigmatization of African Americans would differ under hiring policies that represented legal and illegal levels of racial preference according to federal regulations. Participants were 178 students and 161 corporate employees who rated fictitious Black and White target employees working under (a) an illegal policy of selection of unequal candidates, (b) a legal policy of selection of comparable candidates, or (c) equal opportunity. Participants rated Black targets’ achievement-related traits lower than White targets only under the illegal policy. Under the legal policy, no such stigmatization was observed. Additional dependent measures and theoretical implications were explored. whether, when, and how much it affects race relations in the workplace. Affirmative action-related stigmatization is said to occur when the appraisal of a beneficiary’s performance or ability to perform is more negative than it would be in the absence of race and gender preferences. Such stigmatization may be severe to the point that a beneficiary is appraised more negatively than a similar nonbeneficiary. Scholars have recognized that this form of stigmatization may consist of both other-directed and self-directed components. The competence of so-called “affirmative action hires,” that is, women and ethnic minorities who are thought to have received jobs, promotions, contracts, or academic positions because of their sex or race, may be doubted by their colleagues and superiors (e.g., Carter, 1991). Women and minorities may also experience selfdoubts about their ability to perform (e.g., Blaine, Crocker, & Major, 1995; Steele, 1990). Additionally, when nonbeneficiaries feel unfairly bypassed as a result of racial preferences, they may further associate global negative attitudes with their minority coworkers (Heilman & Herlihy, 1984). Certainly, scenarios in which these components exacerbate each other are not hard to imagine. Both theory and research have shown the potential for race and gender preferences to lead to stigmatization. Theoretically, the attributional schema of augmenting and discounting (Kelley, 1972) are the cognitive mechanisms thought to be responsible (see Heilman et al., 1992). Of these two processes, discounting is more immediately relevant, although we explore the role of augmenting below. In the context of affirmative action, discounting occurs when (a) the occupational performance of beneficiaries is attributed to race and gender preferences (external factors) rather than to personality strengths (internal factors) or (b) beneficiaries are perceived to possess lower levels of those personality strengths than would be perceived in the absence of race and gender preferences. Laboratory tests of these processes have shown that the work orientation, performance, and competence of individuals who are selected for positions entirely on the basis of their group membership have been discounted, both by others (Garcia, Erskine, Hawn, & Casmay, 1981; Heilman et al., 1992) and by When I go to college campuses, I hear a lot of students say, ‘You know, you’re right. Every day that I walk into class I have this feeling that people are wondering whether I’m there because I got in through affirmative action.’ The reality is that the stigma exists. It exists, and they know it exists. —Ward Connerly, Interview with Interracial Voice (Byrd, April 24, 1999, para. 8) Since its inception in 1965, affirmative action has labored under a variety of ethical criticisms. Over the years it has been criticized in regard to its distributive justice, its constitutionality, and its effort to establish diversity as a fundamental social goal. By and large, vested interest has led to disagreement across the color line on all of these criticisms, and without a true consensus, there has been much controversy over affirmative action but little reform. During the 1990s, however, a new criticism emerged, specifically that the beneficiaries of affirmative action programs may be “stigmatized” as a result of race and gender preferences (see Heilman, Block, & Lucas, 1992; Steele, 1990). The notion that people at the workplace may come to doubt the work ethic, performance, and competence of women and minority Americans suggested to many that affirmative action might be harming the very people it was intended to help. If proved to be true, this criticism has the power to unify minority and majority groups against affirmative action more so than any criticism before it, a development that would bear heavily on the future of such programs. Given this political potential, it is important for social scientists to carefully examine the hypothesized “stigma of incompetence” and to document This work was done in partial fulfillment of David C. Evans’s doctoral dissertation at the University of Iowa. I thank Daniel J. Garcia and Diane M. Garcia for their role in programming the Internet site used for data collection, and Peggy C. Evans, Bradley D. Olson, and Robert S. Baron for their intellectual contributions. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to David C. Evans, Department of Psychology, 313 Bailey Hall, Union College, Schenectady, New York 12308. E-mail: 121 122 EVANS themselves (Heilman, Simon, & Repper, 1987; Jacobson & Koch, 1977). These stigmatization studies generally involve artificial groups instead of demographic minorities and laboratory analogues of affirmative action policies. Nonetheless, this small number of empirical studies has supported a large volume of theoretical discussion. At present, this research has now moved toward testing stigmatization processes in situations that more closely resemble the workplace. With this step, a number of important issues arise. Foremost, theorists have begun to suspect that real world preferences, where they exist, are unlikely to be so strong as to completely bypass the consideration of a candidate’s qualifications (Reskin, 2000). Instead, race and gender preferences most likely range from weak to strong according to the weight they are given relative to merit considerations (Heilman, Battle, Keller, & Lee, 1998; Plous, 1996). However, in laboratory studies of stigmatization, preferences often have been granted solely on the basis of race or gender without any consideration of merit. For example, experimenters in a typical laboratory paradigm have been instructed to say, “regardless of how each of you did on the inventory, you [pointing to the subject], since you’re a man (woman), will get to be the leader for this task” (italics and parentheses Heilman et al.’s, 1987, p. 64). Some scholars have argued that absolute preferences such as these have no parallel in actual practice (Eberhardt & Fiske, 1994; see also Major, Feinstein, & Crocker, 1994; Nacoste, 1994; Turner & Pratkanis, 1994). If so, this would pose a considerable challenge to the external validity of laboratory studies of this phenomenon. To address this challenge, Heilman et al. (1998) examined whether stigmatization decreases as race and gender preferences become weaker along the continuum. This prediction follows directly from the theory of attributional schema: The less potent the facilitator (preferences), the less discounting should occur (Kelley, 1972). In the second of three studies, the other-directed stigmatization of women hired under no employment preferences was compared with the stigmatization that occurred under various levels of preference that ranged from weak to strong. The results showed that although the levels of preference did not significantly affect ratings of the personalities of the women, they did affect ratings of their competence and projected career progress. Raters appeared to discount the competence of the women less when the employer was said to give preferences to those who were “determined to be equally qualified,” than when the employer gave preferences to women “in all cases” (Heilman et al., 1998, p. 197). Heilman et al. (1998) concluded their study by calling for additional work “to establish where along this continuum are the crucial break points, distinguishing one policy from another” (p. 204). Indeed, several provocative questions arise from this request in addition to examining how levels of preference affect ratings of African Americans. Primarily, what level of preference is legal according to federal regulations on affirmative action, and what level of preference is not? If the break point between legal and illegal policies can be reasonably established, then the more important question may be asked: How much stigmatization occurs under legal levels of race and gender preference compared with levels of preference that are so strong as to be illegal? This question is critical in understanding the stigmatization phenomenon because scholars have noted for some time that many people mistakenly assume affirmative action to allow practices that are in fact illegal, including overwhelmingly strong race and gender preferences (e.g., Crosby & Cordova, 1996). As such, it is important to examine the possibility that the stigmatization that results from affirmative action is exacerbated by, or perhaps even dependent on, illegally strong levels of racial preference. Legal and Illegal Levels of Preference Plous (1996) identified four theoretical hiring policies that help to define legal and illegal preferences. His hierarchy focuses on the potential outcomes as preferences increasingly outweigh merit. From weak to strong, the levels are (a) selection of equal candidates, (b) selection of comparable candidates, (c) selection of unequal candidates, and (d) selection of unqualified candidates. At the first two levels, selection preferences are granted only to women and minorities who are equally or comparably qualified with nonminorities. The next two levels describe stronger preferences by which less qualified minorities are selected over nonminorities who are more qualified, and finally, the last level describes the selection of an unqualified minority over a qualified minority. How strong are the racial preferences permitted by law? The short answer is not strong at all. Selecting candidates solely on the basis of their race without regard to merit is explicitly barred by U.S. Federal Regulations: “Placement goals may not be used to supersede merit selection principles” (Affirmative Action Programs, 41 C.F.R. 60.2.16.e4, 2001). Similarly, with regard to academic admissions, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Regents v. Bakke (1978) that “Race or ethnic background may be deemed a ‘plus’ in a particular applicant’s file, yet it does not insulate the individual from comparison with all other candidates.” In terms of Plous’s (1996) hierarchy, both the selection of unequal and unqualified minority candidates (the highest two levels of preference) are specifically excluded from standard practice: “[T]he regulations in this part do not require a contractor to hire a person who lacks qualifications to perform the job successfully, or hire a less qualified person in preference to a more qualified one” (41 C.F.R. 60.2.16.e4, 2001). On the contrary, federal regulations require contractors to consider the qualifications of the candidates at several points toward the attainment of their placement goals. For example, employers must calculate the “percentage of minorities or women with requisite skills” or the percentage who are “promotable, transferable, and trainable within the contractor’s organization” (41 C.F.R. 60.2.14) as part of determining the “availability of minorities and women qualified to be employed” (41 C.F.R. 60.2.13). In sum, federal statutes appear to place a division between the 2nd and 3rd levels in Plous’s (1996) hierarchy, thereby prohibiting the stronger forms of preference, including the selection of unequal and unqualified candidates, whereas permitting the more moderate forms of preference including the selection of equal and comparable candidates. In other words, actual affirmative action policies require that race and gender preferences be granted only to competitive women and minorities and then only when a history of racial or gender imbalance at a given company has been established. Given these statutes, Crosby and Cordova (1996, p. 37) point out the surprising inaccuracy by which lawmakers’ have referred to affirmative action as “preference programs.” However, mistaken assumptions about affirmative action may be an integral part AFFIRMATIVE ACTION STIGMA of understanding the stigmatization phenomenon. Despite the fact that the selection of unequal candidates is illegal, survey research suggests that many Americans believe that this level of preference typifies affirmative action policies. For example, the General Social Survey has shown that 70% of Whites think it somewhat or very likely that Whites in today’s job market lose jobs or promotions to less qualified Blacks (cf. Taylor, 1994). Similarly, 40% of Whites feel affirmative action leads to reverse discrimination (cf. Eberhardt & Fiske, 1994). Such findings underscore the need to compare the stigmatization resulting from legal levels of preference with the stigmatization resulting from illegal levels of preference as they are commonly, though mistakenly, construed by the layperson. Hypotheses of the Present Study Several modifications on past designs were required to perform the comparison called for above. Primarily, the illegal policy in the present study was intentionally written to describe a hiring practice (i.e., the selection of unequal candidates) that violates federal regulations but at the same time reflects the results of nationwide opinion surveys cited above. By contrast, the legal policy described a hiring practice that is permitted by federal regulations (i.e., the selection of comparable candidates). This latter policy was analogous to the equally qualified level of preference used by Heilman et al. (1998). However, given that no two candidates are perhaps ever equal in the strictest sense, this wording was avoided to be as ecologically valid as possible. Because Heilman et al. (1998) examined the ratings of women, the present study sought to examine the ratings of African Americans. In addition, participants also rated European American targets. This modification made it possible to examine not only how the ratings of African Americans differed across the policies but also how the disparity in ratings between African Americans and European Americans differed across the policies. These modifications introduced several novel predictions about the personality ratings of the target employees. First, it was predicted that Black targets working under the illegal policy of selection of unequal candidates should be rated lower than Black targets working under the legal policy of selection of comparable candidates or under equal opportunity (Hypothesis 1). Additionally, it was also predicted that a more severe form of stigmatization might occur by which Blacks are rated lower than Whites under the illegal policy of selection of unequal candidates but not so under the other policies (Hypothesis 2). These hypotheses were based on the assumption that the racial preferences created by legal forms affirmative action are not sufficient to lead to the discounting of Blacks’ success, whereas the preferences of illegally policies are sufficient. It is at this point, however, that augmenting may further contribute to the lower ratings of Blacks than Whites under illegal affirmative action policies. According to Kelley (1972), augmenting occurs when performance is attributed to internal personality factors, such as achievement orientation, more so than it would be in the absence of obstacles. Illegally strong racial preferences may lower the ratings of Blacks by leading their personality strengths to be discounted and their weaknesses to be augmented. At the same time, illegally strong racial preference may raise the ratings of 123 Whites by leading their personality strengths to be augmented and their weaknesses to be discounted. It is interesting to note that the same processes of augmenting and discounting should lead to higher ratings of Blacks than Whites under the equal opportunity policy (Hypothesis 3), opposite the stigmatization effect. Affirmative action policies fundamentally assume that equal opportunity laws do not fully remove the discriminatory obstacles historically faced by minorities (see Major et al., 1994). If this belief is widespread, then under equal opportunity, Blacks may be seen to have overcome discrimination when they succeed or to have succumbed to discrimination when they fail. As such, the theory of attributional schema would predict that Blacks’ success under equal opportunity should be augmented (and their failures discounted), leading them to be rated higher than Whites. Together, Hypotheses 2 and 3 lead to the prediction of a disordinate or cross-over interaction of race and policy, as depicted in Figure 1. All of the above comparisons were also performed on a measure of stigmatization that is generally overlooked, namely, the locus of the attributions that people make for the performance of affirmative action beneficiaries. Attributional locus (Kelley, 1972; Weiner, 1985) refers to internal causes such as the employees’ achievement orientation, or external causes, most likely the race and gender preferences themselves. Unlike ratings of personality, the pattern of attributions should show a three-way interaction between race, policy, and the successful or unsuccessful performance of the target employee.1 As shown in Panel A of Figure 2, under the illegal policy of selection of unequal candidates, participants should attribute Blacks’ success to external factors, perhaps even to more external factors than the same performance by Whites. As the policies begin to practice the more moderate preferences of legal policies, the attributions for Blacks’ success should become more internal, and attributions for Whites’ success should become more external to the point that Blacks’ success under equal opportunity should be attributed to more internal factors than that of the same performance by Whites. The opposite would be predicted for unsuccessful employees as shown in Panel B of Figure 2. Together, these predictions constitute Hypothesis 4. Method Participants and Recruitment Participants in the study consisted of both businesspeople working in corporate settings and introductory psychology students from a large 1 Note that the performance of the target employee did not enter into the predictions for personality ratings nor was it included in Figure 1. The reason is that, perhaps surprisingly, the theory of augmenting and discounting predicts no difference in the pattern of the two-way interaction of race and policy across the successful and unsuccessful targets, (i.e., it predicts no three-way interaction). Under selection of unequal candidates, Blacks’ successes should be discounted, but their failures should also be augmented, thus leading them to be rated lower than Whites whether they are successful or unsuccessful as predicted in Hypothesis 2. Under equal opportunity, Blacks’ succe ...
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School: UT Austin



Legal issues in staffing
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Question 1
Equal employment opportunity (EEO) can be defined as the freedom from discrimination
regarding protected classes such as genetic information, disability, age, religion, national origin,
sex, color or race (Lewis, 2018). Notably, state fair employment and federal laws guarantees the
EEO rights while the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and its state
counterparts enforces the rights. Affirmative action (AA) on the other side can be defined as the
proactive method of recruiting, hiring and promoting members of historically oppressed groups
including women, veterans, individuals with disabilities and individuals of minority races
(Arcidiacono & Lovenheim, 2016). Moreover, the difference between the EEO and AA is that,
EEO is provided by the federal government being that it is a civil right, and its intended purpose
is to inspire diversity in corporate hiring and promotion of employees in companies and institutions
that employ a minimum ...

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