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EEOC v. Alliant Techsystems Inc.

Legal Suit on Racial Discrimination in Selection Criteria

EEOC v. Alliant Techsystems Inc.

In late 2012, Alliant Techsystems Inc. was legally forced to pay $100,000 as fine to settle a lawsuit on racial discrimination filed against it by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to lawsuit filed by the EEOC, Alliant Techsystems Inc. refused to employ an Afro-American woman for the position of technical support just because of her race (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2012). The recruiter representing the organization advised the lady to take out her braids in order to look professional after her first interview. The alleged victim complied and she was interviewed for multiple times for the job, and she was informed that the company wanted to employ her.

The legal suit demonstrated that by the time the alleged victim met with the Alliant’s director of IT, she had returned her hair back in. In the following day, she was told the company could not hire her; instead, the organization employed a white male for the position.

Selection Criteria and Methods

Just like interviewing, job description manual guide, and hiring procedure, selection enables the human resources to understand various position-specific expectations. Since selection criteria concentrate on outcome rather than the individual, they help to offer an objective and far way to find out if the applicant is the best fit not only to the position, but also, to the organization (Stewart & Brown, 2015).

While formal education, credentials, and experience related to job are significant, these aspects may not be enough to assist the hiring panel to come up with the best candidate. Selection methods such as panel interviews enable the selection team to assess general knowledge, personal traits and attributes, and non-job specific skills of the candidate. These aspects are vital for long-term employment and job performance. The selection panel of the Alliant Techsystems Company seemed to have passed through all the selection procedures. The problem came in the moment they applied racial discrimination in the process of selection. The basis of rejecting the alleged victim was based on her culture. This is a selection criterion.

Criteria Used for Selecting the Employee

Based on the information presented in the case, the alleged victim was interviewed various times by different selection panels for the post. In the course of her assessment by the selection team, she was told to remove her braids in order to look professional. She complied, and the process continued (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2012). She was eventually told by the recruiter who represented the company that she had passed the interview and the company was going to hire her, only to be informed the following day that she was not hired.

Legal and Ethical Issues Related to Equal Employment in Regard to this Lawsuit

It was determined that the reason why Alliant Tech systems failed to hire the alleged victim was because of her race, and not her qualifications and skills. The idea of the victim wearing her braids purely manifests the culture of the Afro-Americans. The company contravened Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits the employers from discriminating the employees according to their religion, race, color, origin, and gender (Stewart & Brown, 2015).

Impact of this Lawsuit on HR Management

This lawsuit touches on one of the current issues affecting not only the HR departments, but also, other departments of organizations. This ruling will discourage discrimination of any type in the process of selection and any other organizational process such as promotion. The ruling calls on the HR management to reevaluate the entire process of selection or hiring process, and ensure that subjective aspects such interviewing are done by qualified professionals who are unbiased.


Stewart, G. L., & Brown, K. G. (2015). Human Resource Management: Linking strategy to practice (3rd Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2012). EEOC Case Summary: EEOC v. Alliant Techsystems Inc. | Casetext. Retrieved May 5, 2019, from website: ‌Assignment help usa

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