The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has settled a class action sex discrimination lawsuit brought on behalf of current and former female employees who were prohibited from applying for numerous GS-14 and GS-15 promotions. The case was titled Boord v. Gonzales.
These higher-paying jobs were restricted to individuals that had experience as a Special Agent and included a range of position titles, including EAP counselor, laboratory analyst, and lawyer. For many of these, according to the plaintiffs, having Special Agent experience was not job-related and consistent with business necessity, as required under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The total cost: Approximately $11 million
Dr. Kathleen Lundquist, well known in I/O circles, served as a neutral expert to review positions that required Special Agent experience. The request for position review form can be found here.
Lesson? Make sure your minimum qualifications are valid. They are open to scrutiny--just like every other part of the screening process.
More details can be found in the settlement agreement.