110 Cong. Rec. This consequence would appear to be directly traceable to race. GRIGGS V. DUKE POWER COMPANY INTRODUCTION The growing importance of testing in America has been well documented.1 Long used to determine educational opportunities, tests are now used in-creasingly to determine occupational opportunities as well. That section authorizes the use of "any professionally developed ability test" that is not "designed, intended or used to discriminate because of race . 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 congressional discussion was prompted by the decision of a hearing examiner for the Illinois Fair Employment Commission in Myart v. Motorola Co. (The decision is reprinted at 110 Cong. 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 U.S. 424, 428] 367 Which legislation was responsible for the creation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission? Footnote 2 person be hired simply because he was formerly the subject of discrimination, or because he is a member of a minority group. The Bottom Line Limitation to the Rule of Griggs v. Duke Power Company James P. Scanlan United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Follow this and additional works at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjlr Part of the Civil Rights and Discrimination Commons, Labor and Employment Law Commons, 5614-5616; Smathers, id., at 5999-6000; Holland, id., at 7012-7013; Hill, id., at 8447; Tower, id., at 9024; Talmadge, id., at 9025-9026; Fulbright, id., at 9599-9600; and Ellender, id., at 9600. Wards Cove Packing Company v. Proponents of Title VII sought throughout the debate to assure the critics that the Act would have no effect on job-related tests. 110 Cong. [401 Copyright © 2020, Thomson Reuters. [401 Alfred W. Blumrosen* For good thoughts (though God accept them) yet towards men are little better than good dreams, except they be put in act; and that cannot be done without power and place, as the vantage and com­ The Court of Appeals was confronted with a question of first impression, as are we, concerning the meaning of Title VII. 2. 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 touchstone is business necessity. Footnote 10 Rec. Guide, § 6139 (Feb. 19, 1970). 13724. See also Decision of EEOC 70-552, CCH Empl. (1965); Power Reactor Co. v. Electricians, In the earlier memorandum Clark and Case assured the Senate that employers were not to be prohibited from using tests that determine qualifications. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Griggs because _____. The amendment was then adopted. Omissions? Findings on this score are not challenged. 7 The Commission's more recent interpretation of the statute in the guideline relied on by the District Court is no doubt entitled to great deference, Griggs v. Duke Power Co., supra, at 434; Phillips v.   Reg. 849. . From the time the high school requirement was instituted to the time of trial, however, white employees hired before the time of the high school education requirement continued to perform satisfactorily and achieve promotions in the "operating" departments. Negro employees at respondent's generating plant brought this action, pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, challenging respondent's requirement of a high school diploma or passing of intelligence tests as a condition of employment in or transfer to jobs at the plant. 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. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. With him on the brief were William I. U.S. 1 The fact that a test was prepared by an individual or organization claiming expertise in test preparation does not, without more, justify its use within the meaning of Title VII." The background of the Griggs case began in the early 1970s, when African American workers at the Duke Power Company in North Carolina sued the company because of a rule that required employees who were transferring between different departments to have a high-school diploma or pass an intelligence test. A number of Senators feared that Title VII might produce a similar result. Rec. (1961). Equal Educational Case: Griggs Vs. Duke Power Company. The Court of Appeals reversed the District Court in part, rejecting the holding that residual discrimination arising from prior employment practices was insulated from remedial action. are now used. The email address cannot be subscribed. [401 [ amendment and have found it to be in accord with the intent and purpose of that title." The Company contends that its general intelligence tests are specifically permitted by 703 (h) of the Act. 4 [ tests, as well as to have a high school education. (“Disparate impact” describes a situation in which adverse effects of criteria—such as those applied to candidates for employment or promotion—occur primarily among people belonging to certain groups, such as racial minorities, regardless of the apparent neutrality of the criteria.) The Company added a further requirement for new employees on July 2, 1965, the date on which Title VII became effective. Rec. . That case suggested that standardized tests on which whites performed better than Negroes could never be used. 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 By a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that the tests given by Duke Power were artificial and unnecessary and that the requirements for transfer had a disparate impact on blacks. [401 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. On this basis, the Court of Appeals concluded there was no violation of the Act. [401 Jack Greenberg argued the cause for petitioners.   395 4. What Congress has commanded is that any tests used must measure the person for the job and not the person in the abstract. Congress provided, in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for class actions for enforcement of provisions of the Act and this proceeding was brought by a group of incumbent Negro employees against Duke Power Company. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, having enforcement responsibility, has issued guidelines interpreting § 703(h) to permit only the use of job-related tests. Footnote 4 We recommend using [ 5 [401 Under the Act, practices, procedures, or tests neutral on their face, and even neutral in terms of intent, cannot be maintained if they operate to "freeze" the status quo of prior discriminatory employment practices. These guidelines demand that employers using tests have available "date demonstrating that the test is predictive of or significantly correlated with important elements of work behavior which comprise or are relevant to the job or jobs for which candidates are being evaluated." [401 With him on the brief were Francis V. Lowden, Jr., Gerard C. Smetana, and Milton A. Smith. U.S. 424, 437]. 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. The court established a legal precedent for "disparate impact" lawsuits in which criteria unfairly burdens a particular group, even if it appears neutral. Rec. [401 Transferees into a department usually began in the lowest position. MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court. The decision was taken to mean that such tests could never be justified even if the needs of the business required them. Microsoft Edge. 12 Griggs claimed that Duke's policy discriminated against African-American employees in violation of Title VII of t… Because they are Negroes, petitioners have long received inferior education in segregated schools and this Court expressly recognized these differences in Gaston County v. United States, U.S. 396 There, because of the inferior education received by Negroes in North Carolina, this Court barred the institution of a literacy test for voter registration on the ground that the test would abridge the right to vote indirectly on account of race. 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. 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 quotation from an earlier Clark-Case interpretative memorandum addressed to the question of the constitutionality of Title VII. Footnote 12 We granted the writ on these claims. In 1978, the EEOC adopted the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures or “UGESP” under Title VII. The District Court found that respondent's former policy of racial discrimination had ended, and that Title VII, being prospective only, did not reach the prior inequities. CO. AND THE CONCEPT OF EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION . It was to achieve equality of employment opportunities and remove [ At the time this action was instituted, the Company had 95 employees at the Dan River Station, 14 of whom were Negroes; 13 of these are petitioners here. U.S. 424, 429]. Updates? Prac. A) Equal Pay Act of 1963 B) Civil Rights Act of 1866. U.S. 424, 436] This method of analysis is consistent with the seminal Supreme Court decision about disparate impact discrimination, Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971). For a period, debate revolved around claims that the bill as proposed would prohibit all testing and force employers to hire unqualified persons simply because they were part of a group formerly subject to job discrimination. ] 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. . [401 [ 7213. § 2000e-2(k)(1)(A)(i); see also Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971). The facts in Griggs involved a workplace with five Operating Departments, ranging from Labor at … Decision of EEOC, CCH Empl. Briefs of amici curiae urging reversal were filed by Solicitor General Griswold, Assistant Attorney General Leonard, Deputy Solicitor General Wallace, David L. Rose, Stanley Hebert, and Russell Specter for the United States; by Louis J. Lefkowitz, Attorney General, pro se, Samuel A. Hirshowitz, First Assistant Attorney General, and George D. Zuckerman and Dominick J. Tuminaro, Assistant Attorneys General, for the Attorney General of the State of New York; and by Bernard Kleiman, Elliot Bredhoff, Michael H. Gottesman, and George H. Cohen for the United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO. The employee, a high school graduate who had begun in the Labor Department in 1953, was promoted to a job in the Coal Handling Department. 11 What is required by Congress is the removal of artificial, arbitrary, and unnecessary barriers to employment when the barriers operate invidiously to discriminate on the basis of racial or other impermissible classification. Footnote 3 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. ] Senator Tower's original amendment provided in part that a test would be permissible "if . The case was argued before the Supreme Court on December 14, 1970, and the court issued its ruling on March 8 of the following year. On the contrary, Congress has now required that the posture and condition of the job-seeker be taken into account. 3. In 1955 the Company instituted a policy of requiring a high school education for initial assignment to any department except Labor, and for transfer from the Coal Handling to any "inside" department (Operations, Maintenance, or Laboratory). 13492. We do not suggest that either the District Court or the Court of Appeals erred in examining the employer's intent; but good intent or absence of discriminatory intent does not redeem employment procedures or testing mechanisms that operate as "built-in headwinds" for minority groups and are unrelated to measuring job capability. U.S. 424, 433]. ] In North Carolina, 1960 census statistics show that, while 34% of white males had completed high school, only 12% of Negro males had done so. The administrative interpretation of the Adverse impact is often used interchangeably with "disparate impact," which was a legal term coined in one of the most significant U.S. Supreme Court rulings on disparate or adverse impact: Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 1971. Updated by, https: //www.britannica.com/event/Griggs-v-Duke-Power-Co, North Carolina History Project - Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 414 S.. Willie S. Griggs et al., Petitioners, v. Duke Power Company would no. 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