Problems with Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures Need To Be Resolved

FPCD-77-54: Published: Feb 2, 1978. Publicly Released: Feb 2, 1978.

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinating Council, consisting of the Secretary of Labor, the Attorney General and the chairpersons of the Civil Service Commission, Civil Rights Commission, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or their respective delegates, was established in 1972 to coordinate federal equal employment opportunity enforcement efforts. Early in 1973, the Council set out to develop and adopt uniform guidelines for determining the proper use of tests and other selection procedures consistent with the equal employment opportunity requirements of federal law. After 5 years, this work is still not completed.

Longstanding disagreements on guideline requirements have arisen among the member agencies of the Council. Their views have differed on the legal and technical standards for judging the proper use of tests, and they perceive their mandates differently and have pursued different operating responsibilities. The Council lacks authority to compel member agencies to change their policies and guidelines or to adopt new ones in the interest of developing uniform positions on matters relating to equal employment opportunity. Other important unresolved issues include: (1) eliminating misunderstandings about what the federal guidelines require employers to do; (2) obtaining financial and professional resources to put the guidelines into practice; (3) getting consistent agency interpretation and enforcement of uniform guidelines; (4) evaluating the costs and benefits of guidelines and their effect on selection decisions and minority and female employment patterns; and (5) reconciling the competing social values of individual merit and group equality.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The President should direct the Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinating Council to establish a means by which member agencies can agree upon and put into practice consistent equal employment opportunity policies and procedures without unreasonable and lengthy delays and adopt and use uniform guidelines on employee selection procedures. The Council should, in its annual report to the President and Congress, present current, reliable information on the actual costs and effects of putting into practice and enforcing uniform guidelines once adopted. It should also: (1) develop and issue documents which clearly explain the guidelines and show how to follow them; (2) develop enforcement standards that allow public and private employers to meet the guidelines; (3) train agency enforcement personnel to apply the guidelines in a consistent manner; (4) review the agencies' use of the guidelines and make changes as needed to maintain consistent enforcement; and (5) encourage member agencies to fund research and provide technical assistance to employers for developing cost effective methods of achieving equal opportunity in employee selection.


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