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Statement of Paula Liles

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Meeting of May 16, 2007 - on Employment Testing and Screening

Good morning, Ladies and Gentleman

First of all I would like to thank you for asking me here today. Pre-employment testing is something that should be taken seriously and handled very carefully, due to the impact it has on a person's life and their families', man or woman.

In my case I was employed as a temporary at the Dial Corporation. I wanted a full time job with them, so I filled out an application and went though their hiring process. I received a letter from them with a potential start date. The only thing left for me to do was what they called a work tolerance test. It was to see how well a person could perform one of their jobs in the plant. This test had never been used before.

I had no worry. I know I was a fairly fit person and had performed various physical jobs in the past with no complaints about my performance. I did this test and was told I had passed, then the devastation began.

I received another letter from them saying they did not want my employment because of my height. In an instant as I was reading this letter, every emotion a person can have went through me. I thought I was going to fall apart at that very minute.

I went to the proper agency, the Iowa Human Rights Commission. The EEOC did an investigation and eventually filed charges on the Dial Corporation on my behalf and on the behalf of several other women.

Ever since that day seven years ago I have been affected by that test in every part of my life. I have felt like I've been on a roller coaster that was going to break down at any time and I was going down with it.

I could not pay for my daughter's high school graduation cap and gown or for her senior pictures. She went to work and paid for them herself.

There are things I am going to have to carry with me for the rest of my life. I went through therapy. My credit was ruined.

And all the time I knew that I was able to do that job.

This page was last modified on May 11, 2007.