[401 7 GRIGGS v. DUKE POWER CO.(1971) No. Ability tests so utilized often decide who will be hired, transferred, or promoted for jobs Footnote 12 Adverse Impact does not mean that an individual in a majority group is given preference over a minority group. 420 F.2d, at 1232. With him on the brief were Francis V. Lowden, Jr., Gerard C. Smetana, and Milton A. Smith. 380 [401 With him on the briefs were James M. Nabrit III, Norman C. Amaker, William L. Robinson, Conrad O. Pearson, Julius LeVonne Chambers, and Albert J. Rosenthal. In 1971, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Griggs v. Duke Power, which transformed our nation’s work places. ] The Court of Appeals ruled that Negroes employed in the Labor Department at a time when there was no high school or test requirement for entrance into the higher paying departments could not now be made subject to those requirements, since whites hired contemporaneously into those departments were never subject to them. Please try again. EEOC General Counsel's Opinion Letter, 1 CCH Employment Prac. The workers argued that, because of the inferior segregated education available to blacks in North Carolina, a disproportionate number of African Americans were rendered ineligible for promotion, transfer, or employment. 3. More than that, Congress has placed on the employer the burden of showing that any given requirement must have a manifest relationship to the employment in question. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. In the earlier memorandum Clark and Case assured the Senate that employers were not to be prohibited from using tests that determine qualifications. 12 Speaking for the supporters of Title VII, Senator Humphrey, who had vigorously opposed the first amendment, endorsed the substitute amendment, stating: "Senators on both sides of the aisle who were deeply interested in title VII have examined the text of this The ruling effectively forbids employers from using arbitrary tests—such as those for measuring IQ or literacy—to evaluate an employee or a potential employee, a practice that some companies at the time were using as a way to get around rules that forbid outright racial discrimination. GRIGGS v. DUKE POWER COMPANY United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit. 7213. The Supreme Court considered this standard in Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971), which is the seminal Supreme Court case on employment testing. 1. Reg. [ See, e. g., United States v. City of Chicago, Company openly discriminated on the basis of race in the hiring and assigning of employees at its Dan River plant. Furthermore, the court ruled that, even if the motive for the requirements had nothing to do with racial discrimination, they were nonetheless discriminatory and therefore illegal. The amendment was defeated and two days later Senator Tower offered a substitute amendment which was adopted verbatim and is now the testing provision of 703 (h).   The evidence, however, shows that employees who have not completed high school or taken the tests have continued to perform satisfactorily and make progress in departments for which the high school and test criteria What Congress has forbidden is giving these devices and mechanisms controlling force unless they are demonstrably a reasonable measure of job performance. The District Court also concluded that Title VII was intended to be prospective only and, consequently, the impact of prior inequities was beyond the reach of corrective action authorized by the Act. . The Act proscribes not only overt discrimination but also practices that are fair in form, but discriminatory in operation. The opposition to the amendment was based on its loose wording which the proponents of Title VII feared would be susceptible of misinterpretation. U.S. 8 In September 1965 the Company began to permit incumbent employees who lacked a high school education to qualify for transfer from Labor or Coal Handling to an "inside" job by passing two tests - the Wonderlic Personnel Test, which purports to measure general intelligence, and the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test. Equal Educational Case: Griggs Vs. Duke Power Company. ." If an employment practice which operates to exclude Negroes cannot be shown to be related to job performance, the practice is prohibited. The touchstone is business necessity. Indeed, the very purpose of title VII is to promote hiring on the basis of job qualifications, rather than on the basis of race or color." Senators Case of New Jersey and Clark of Pennsylvania, comanagers of the bill on the Senate floor, issued a memorandum explaining that the proposed Title VII "expressly protects the employer's right to insist that any prospective applicant, Negro or white, must meet the applicable job qualifications. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Griggs v. Duke Power Co., case in which the U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision on March 8, 1971, established the legal precedent for so-called “ disparate-impact ” lawsuits involving instances of racial discrimination. In 1978, the EEOC adopted the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures or “UGESP” under Title VII. The amendment was then adopted. 7247 (quoted from in the text above), in which Senators Clark and Case explained that tests which measure "applicable job qualifications" are permissible under Title VII. The Company's lack of discriminatory intent is suggested by special efforts to help the undereducated employees through Company financing of two-thirds the cost of tuition for high school training. The administrative interpretation of the barriers that have operated in the past to favor an identifiable group of white employees over other employees. If it is determined that a disparate impact exists, the focus then shifts to the employer to show that the challenged practice is “job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.” 42 U.S.C. George W. Ferguson, Jr., argued the cause for respondent.   That case suggested that standardized tests on which whites performed better than Negroes could never be used. 2. 5 We granted the writ in this case to resolve the question whether an employer is prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, from requiring a high school education See also Espinoza v. Farah Mfg. Supreme Court ; 401 U.S. 424.   Negroes were employed only in the Labor Department where the highest paying jobs paid less than the lowest paying jobs in the other four "operating" departments in which only whites were employed. 5662.) ] For example, between July 2, 1965, and November 14, 1966, the percentage of white employees who were promoted but who were not high school graduates was nearly identical to the percentage of nongraduates in the entire white work force. Jack Greenberg argued the cause for petitioners. 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