implemented under the act involves discretion in admission or assignment, considerations like those outlined above could be implicated. So, for example, the school partner must be sure that all students are assured equal access both in terms of involvement with particular employers and in training for particular types of positions. Clearly, any program that tended to track students of a particular protected class into lower-prestige or lower-paying jobs would not only violate the intent of the act but also violate the law.


The discussion here on the validity of selection criteria is not meant to frighten or confuse but rather to show that the law and fairness demand that any standards developed in the course of the implementation of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act must balance the need for a more highly trained work force with the requirement that the new standards bear some meaningful relationship to the work that students will ultimately perform. Employers and educational institutions must be aware that selection criteria may measure less about an individual's ability to perform or learn a task than they do the person's background and culture. Accordingly, consistent with the goals of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, employers must devise standards that will enrich the skills of students, particularly those whose access to the work force has been limited, and not serve as another in a series of barriers to a productive career.


Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 1978 Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. Washington, DC: Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

Larsen, Lex K. 1996 Employment Discrimination. New York: Matthew Bender.

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