[IPAC-List] Pass points for employment tests and the Standards foreducati...

RPClare at aol.com RPClare at aol.com
Wed Jul 28 17:01:21 EDT 2010

This has always been a thorny issue. In the absence of any union issues or
other binding "list use" rules, there is no reason to set a pass point. If
1000 folks take a "test" and there are 14 vacancies the last 986 folks
don't have a chance of getting a job. Other factors such as "rule of...", "life
of the list" and unavailability of one or more of the "reachable" folks
shape what that final "reachable" number is. The issue of a
non-discriminatory list (test result) rings hollow if the protected groups are in the bottom
half of the list and have no realistic chance of getting a job. Regardless
of what we call it, the group who have a reasonable chance of getting a
position is the "true" list no matter how it may be identified. There is no
more "job related" factor than the number of people having a reasonable
chance of appointment.

In a message dated 7/28/2010 3:41:49 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
Bryan.Baldwin at doj.ca.gov writes:

The key to your question (or is it the answer) lies with "in the absence
of factors that would suggest discriminatory effect or intent." To some
extent then this is the age-old "if a tree falls in the forest..."
question, but looking at cases that have been brought against employers
(e.g., SEPTA, City of Chicago), courts have not looked particularly
fondly upon employers that have set cut-scores based purely on
administrative convenience.

Can you set pass points based on number of positions to fill? Sure.
You could also set it based on the fact that 85 is your favorite number.
Is this a problem? Probably, from purely a utility perspective if it
wasn't set in a job-related fashion. Could it be a problem legally?
Absolutely, if it has adverse impact and you can't provide the related

Bryan Baldwin
Staff Services Manager II
California Department of Justice
Division of Administrative Support
Personnel Programs
(916) 322-5446

>>> "Shekerjian, Rene" <Rene.Shekerjian at cs.state.ny.us> 7/28/2010 11:58

AM >>>
The Standards seem to say that pass points can be set for employment
tests based solely on the number of positions to be filled (4.19 and
4.20). Based on things I have heard and read, I have the feeling that
that is not how things have played out over the years.

Is it really that simple for employment tests? (Gets ready to duck.) Of
course, I mean in the absence of factors that would suggest
discriminatory effect or intent.

I would appreciate any thoughts you would care to share on this issue.



René Shekerjian | Testing Services Division | NYS Department of Civil

IPAC-List at ipacweb.org

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This communication with its contents may contain
confidential and/or legally privileged information. It is solely for the
use of the intended recipient(s). Unauthorized interception, review, use
or disclosure is prohibited and may violate applicable laws including
the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. If you are not the intended
recipient, please contact the sender and destroy all copies of the
IPAC-List at ipacweb.org

More information about the IPAC-List mailing list