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Friday, June 15, 2007

Ind. Decisions - "Court gives test failing grade" - story is a puzzlement

Well, the ILB is confused. It read this article in the Greater Fort Wayne Business Journal today, dated June 15, 2007, that states:

In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago issued a ruling that any personality test used to determine promotions qualifies as a medical exam because it asks questions that may reveal mental disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, prohibits medical exams. * * *

The company that the appeals court ruled against, Rent A Center, tested three brothers who were applying for a promotion. Based on the test results, all of the brothers were rejected for promotions. The brothers said the test violated provisions of the ADA. They lost their case in the district court, but won the appeal to the Seventh Circuit. * * *

But what does that mean for Indiana employers? Since Indiana is located in the Seventh Circuit, the new ruling effectively bars employers from using any personality test that contains questions regarding the mental health of an employee.

The ILB looked for the opinion. It found this Wisconsin Law Journal article dated June 1, 2005, stating:
In Karraker v. Rent-A-Center, Inc., Case No. 04-2881 (Jun. 14, 2005), the Court held that the Minnesota Multi-Phasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) was a "medical examination" under the ADA. Its use was, therefore, illegal as a pre-employment test that screened out, or had the effect of screening out, job applicants with disabilities. This is the first case in which a federal circuit court addressed the permissible uses of MMPI as a pre-employment test. The case provides a useful analysis of many hiring issues that arise under the ADA. * * *

The Karraker brothers brought a class action against Rent-A-Center alleging violations of the ADA after the three brothers were denied promotions because they failed the APT Management Trainee-Executive Profile. The APT was a series of 9 tests designed to measure such things as math and language skills as well as personal interests and personality traits.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 15, 2007 02:48 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions