A Hostile Critique of Physical Effort Testing in an FCE
The employment testing question of “How do you know she tried hard?” has been debated for more than 30 years. The belief that demonstrating less ability and more pain may pay off can influence an employment test. Fear of increased pain and fear of re-injury may result in less than high levels of physical effort. Guidance from a friend or counsel may also affect behavior during testing.
The truth is that only a few of the people tested each day do not demonstrate high levels of effort. And those who attempt to trick a seasoned evaluator are likely to be identified early on in the testing process.
Another truth is that under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, identifying those who demonstrate less than high levels of effort is not as important as identifying whether or not the individual can safely execute the physical demands of the essential functions of his or her job. High levels of physical effort may not be necessary to get the job done.
Gauging and documenting the level of physical effort displayed during an employment test is a clinical issue best analyzed by a trained evaluator using tools and methods that are accepted by the federal courts.
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