Resources to Identify Non-discriminatory Apprentice Selection Procedures
The revisions to the Office of Apprenticeship's (OA) EEO regulations that went into effect on January 18, 2017, provide significantly greater flexibility to apprenticeship sponsors registered with OA to decide how to select apprentices into their programs. The previous rule had required the sponsor to use one of four rigid selection procedures, each of which included its own detailed set of requirements for compliance. By contrast, the rule now allows sponsors to use any method to select apprentices so long as that method is consistent with the general non-discrimination obligations that have long applied to sponsors.
This page presents some resources to help sponsors as they develop or evaluate their selection procedures:
A selection procedure is any measure, combination of measures, or procedure used as a basis for a hiring, promotion, or similar decision in apprenticeship. Selection procedures include the full range of assessment techniques from traditional paper and pencil tests, performance tests, training programs, or probationary periods and physical, educational, and work experience requirements through informal or casual interviews and unscored application forms. (29 CFR § 30.2.)
A selection procedure (or other employment practice) has a "disparate impact" if it adversely affects one group of people of a protected characteristic more than another, even though the procedure (or practice) is neutral in form.
To illustrate -- a selection requirement that an apprentice electrician be able to lift 75 pounds may screen out women more than men. That doesn't mean a sponsor may not use it; it can be used, but it has to be related to apprentice electricians' performance and consistent with business necessity, and no alternative requirement that serves the same purpose with less of a disparate impact can be available. For example, the sponsor should consider whether electricians really need to lift 75 pounds with any frequency; requiring the ability to lift only 50 pounds is an alternative that serves the same purpose but may have less of a disparate impact. If lifting a 75-pound item is required to do the job, the sponsor should consider whether current apprentices and journey-level electricians sometimes lift it together, or use some kind of a lifting aid; if so, a lifting-ability requirement may not be necessary to performance of the job.
Examples of Permitted Principles
Sponsors may use any of the selection devices listed below (and any other), so long as the devices are not intended to result in, and do not result in, unlawful discrimination.
Important Note: The selection procedures in the above list are not the only ones that are permitted. Sponsors may use any selection procedure of their choosing, as long as it is not discriminatory.
Direct-entry Selection Procedures