Businesses have long employed testing to aid in the decision-making process for hiring, advancement and retention of employees. By using behavior modeling, personality tests, competency mapping, cognitive skills testing, drug and alcohol screening, physical capacities evaluations and medical examinations, employers can obtain data which assists in identifying and vetting candidates who are a good fit with organizational goals. Some industries are required by regulation to perform qualification testing in safety sensitive occupations. Although testing can assist in predicting a candidate’s potential for performance and reliability to fill a particular role, and many employers attest to the success of using such tools to separate the wheat from the chaff (i.e., those persons of high quality from those of lower quality), this panel will delve into the effectiveness of such programs and how they can create potential legal liability.
J. Philip Davidson is a leader of Hinkle’s Transportation, Insurance, Construction and Food, Beverage, and Hospitality Practice Groups. Philip has an active litigation and trial practice, often involving catastrophic loss and wrongful death claims in these industry sectors. He represents motor carriers and other transportation, warehousing, and logistics industry clients; food, beverage and industry clients; product manufacturers and distributors; construction professionals and entities; employers; clergy & religious institutions; and health care/managed care professionals and entities. In the transportation arena, Philip has handled hundreds of commercial transportation cases, including the direction of the initial response, investigation and defense of litigation arising out of railroad derailments and motor carrier, motor coach and school bus accidents. In the food and beverage industry, Philip counsels clients in food and beverage product safety, performance and regulatory enforcement standards. Philip defends clients in both individual case and mass outbreaks involving e-coli, salmonella and listeria and is National Coordinating Counsel for a food industry laboratory involved in diacetyl inhalation/artificial butter flavoring cases. He has also served as National Coordinating Counsel to an international restaurant franchise-holder’s association. Philip has litigated wrongful death allegations involving third-party criminal conduct and customer safety involving retailers, travel companies and tour directors, banks, hotels, restaurants and bar/taverns owners and operators. Philip received his law degree at Washburn University School of Law and a B.G.S. in Political Science from the University of Kansas.
Sarah H. Lamar is a partner in the Savannah, Georgia ALFA International law firm of Hunter, Maclean, Exley & Dunn, P.C., and she is a former Chair of ALFA International. Ms. Lamar has experience representing employers in state and federal courts with respect to claims under Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act. She also represents employers with respect to breach of contract and tort claims, immigration matters and affirmative action obligations. Sarah frequently conducts in-house training for employers and advises clients on a variety of human resource issues. Ms. Lamar is admitted to the Georgia bar, District of Columbia bar, and all federal courts in Georgia. Ms. Lamar received her B.A. in History from Yale University in 1988, and her J.D. from Emory University in 1991.
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