Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2448
By: Dukes
State Affairs


Currently, law enforcement agencies and fire departments administer
multiple tests to their employees and prospective employees.  The scores
from these tests are then utilized to determine eligibility for employment,
promotions in title, and promotions in pay.   However, these tests may not
be completely objective, and some departments and agencies may
inadvertently discriminate against members of certain groups.  House Bill
2448 requires that any test administered by a fire department or law
enforcement agency be reviewed by the Commission on Human Rights to
determine if the test has a disparate impact on any group such that it may
cause employment discrimination. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the Commission on Human Rights in
SECTION 1 (Section 21.603, Labor Code) of this bill. 


House Bill 2448 amends the Labor Code to require the Commission on Human
Rights (commission) to review the administration of tests by fire
departments and law enforcement agencies to determine whether the tests
measuring job capability are administered in a manner that complies with
current law.  H.B. 2448 requires the commission by rule to establish a
system to determine how to select the departments or agencies that the
commission will review and when the commission will review a certain
department or agency.  The bill prohibits a test from being administered in
a way that discriminates unless the discrimination is a result of a bona
fide occupational qualification.   

In determining whether the administration of a test complies with current
law, the commission is required to ascertain whether the test has had a
disparate impact on any group defined by race, color, disability, religion,
sex, national origin, or age.  The bill requires the commission to
recommend appropriate changes to current tests for fire departments and law
enforcement agencies if they are found not to meet current standards.  The
bill also requires the fire department or law enforcement agency to revise
their test to meet the commission's recommendations.  The bill does not
affect the authority of a fire department or a law enforcement agency to
administer, devise, or conduct a test or to require a certain level of
performance on a test as a prerequisite to employment or continued


September 1, 2001.