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Are personality tests legal for employers to use during the hiring process

Personality tests are commonly used by employers during the hiring process to screen applicants and assess their suitability for a particular role. These tests are generally legal, as long as they comply with certain guidelines set forth by federal law. The Employee Selection Guidelines, codified in 29 CFR 16071 in 1978, aim to assist employers in complying with federal anti-discrimination laws. According to these guidelines, employers may use tests and other selection procedures, including personality tests, as long as they are job-related and consistent with a business necessity.

However, there are some legal risks associated with the use of personality tests in hiring. For example, employers must ensure that their tests do not discriminate against applicants based on protected characteristics such as race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Employers are also prohibited from adjusting test scores based on an individual's protected characteristics, using different cutoff scores for different protected classes, or altering the results of the test in any way. Furthermore, personality tests must be job-related for the position at issue.

In conclusion, personality tests are generally legal for employers to use during the hiring process, as long as they comply with certain guidelines set forth by federal law. However, employers must be careful to ensure that their tests do not discriminate against applicants based on protected characteristics, and that the tests are job-related and consistent with a business necessity.

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