The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE              CONTACT:   Claire Gonzales
May 24, 1996                                  Reginald Welch
                                              (202) 663-4900
                                              TDD:   (202) 663-4494



WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that it has issued new enforcement guidance restating its longheld position that "testers" have legal standing to file charges and litigate claims of employment discrimination. The guidance explains and analyzes recent legal developments, including Supreme Court rulings and relevant case law, that have occurred since the Commission's issuance in 1990 of guidance on the right of testers to file charges of employment discrimination.

"Testers" are persons who apply for employment for the sole purpose of detecting whether discriminatory hiring practices exist, but who do not intend to accept any offer of employment. They are matched to appear equally qualified for the job with respect to employment history, education, references, grooming, and any other relevant criteria. Testing, which was recognized as a viable technique to uncover workplace bias more than 25 years ago, has been utilized in various quarters including public accommodations, housing, and employment.

Included among the legal developments described in the guidance are a significant court decision on the use of testers and the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Because of the ADA, the guidance explains, testers who uncover discrimination against individuals with disabilities are now able to file discrimination charges. In addition, the guidance explains that, under certain circumstances, organizations that sponsor testers have legal standing to contest discrimination uncovered by the testers.

EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Equal Pay Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; prohibitions against discrimination affecting individuals with disabilities in the federal government; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

This page was last modified on January 15, 1997.

Return to Home Page