Additional Information


Case 09.  Nondiscrimination in Hiring Field Workers


The Armone Institute of Gerontology has received a grant from the Department of Aging to complete a survey of the 55+ population in the state. The survey will provide comprehensive sociodemographic, health, recreational, and financial information about this target group, enabling the state agency to determine social service needs over the next decade. To complete this study, the Armone Institute planned to conduct face-to-face interviews with a sample of elderly randomly selected through a multi-stage cluster technique. To gather the data, the Armone Institute proposed to hire interviewers in a number of regions throughout the state.  Ads were placed in newspapers for experienced interviewers; the Ads noted "equal opportunity employer" as required by the Institute's Affirmative Action Plan. In the process of selecting interviewers for one of the regions where a high percentage of affluent white elderly lived, the senior project investigator argued that two of the candidates (both young, black males) had to be eliminated from the pool. The investigator argued that they would be inappropriate for position given the incompatibility between them and the sample of elderly to be interviewed in the area. The other project investigator felt the elimination of these candidates was discriminatory, since they both had impressive credentials and were experienced interviewers.


  1. What are the obligations of the Armone Institute as an "equal opportunity employer"?
  2. Are there "bona-fide occupational qualities" that can be taken ; into consideration when hiring interviewers for a study such as the one discussed in this case?
  3. What are the potential consequences to the Armone Institute if they deny employment to someone based on their race, gender and age?

Reflect on the above questions and form your own answers before clicking the discussion key to review the commentary provided with this case.