Jack Greenberg argued the cause for petitioners. In 1978, the EEOC adopted the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures or “UGESP” under Title VII. Discriminatory preference for any group, minority or majority, is precisely and only what Congress has proscribed. . U.S. 285 Diplomas and tests are useful servants, but Congress has mandated the commonsense proposition that they are not to become masters of reality. 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. Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select. [401 That section authorizes the use of "any professionally developed ability test" that is not "designed, intended or used to discriminate because of race . ] Senator Tower's original amendment provided in part that a test would be permissible "if . [ This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/Griggs-v-Duke-Power-Co, North Carolina History Project - Griggs v. Duke Power. ] EEOC Guidelines on Employment Testing Procedures, issued August 24, 1966, provide: "The Commission accordingly interprets `professionally developed ability test' to mean a test which fairly measures the knowledge or skills required by the particular job or class of jobs which the applicant seeks, or which fairly affords the employer a chance to measure the applicant's ability to perform a particular job or class of jobs. ] 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. A) Equal Pay Act of 1963 B) Civil Rights Act of 1866. 380 ... five months after charges had been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 400 8 The promotion record of present employees who would not be able to meet the new criteria thus suggests the possibility that the requirements may not be needed even for the limited purpose of preserving the avowed policy of advancement within the Company. 420 F.2d 1225, 1239 n. 6. ... 1966, five months after charges had been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.   EEOC General Counsel's Opinion Letter, 1 CCH Employment Prac. Prac. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. With him on the brief were William I. Section 703 (h) was not contained in the House version of the Civil Rights Act but was added in the Senate during extended debate. Proponents of Title VII opposed the amendment because, as written, it would permit an employer to give any test, "whether it was a good test or not, so long as it was professionally designed. 13724. Part 1607. The Court of Appeals noted, however, that the District Court was correct in its conclusion that there was no showing of a racial purpose or invidious intent in the adoption of the high school diploma requirement or general intelligence test and that these standards had been applied fairly to whites and Negroes alike. In practical terms, EEOC’s policy forbids employers from using one hiring policy for women with small children and a different policy for males with children of a similar age. The most important case impacting employee testing is Griggs v. Duke Power, 401 US 424 (1971), in which the United States Supreme Court held that the employer, Duke Power, had established unlawful racially discriminatory criteria for employment and advancement, including testing and … The Company contends that its general intelligence tests are specifically permitted by 703 (h) of the Act. 7247. . From the sum of the legislative history relevant in this case, the conclusion is inescapable that the EEOC's construction of 703 (h) to require that employment tests be job related comports with congressional intent. . Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. [ Footnote 7 [401 or passing of a standardized general intelligence test as a condition of employment in or transfer to jobs when (a) neither standard is shown to be significantly related to successful job performance, (b) both requirements operate to disqualify Negroes at a substantially higher rate than white applicants, and (c) the jobs in question formerly had been filled only by white employees as part of a longstanding practice of giving preference to whites. U.S. 424, 434] [401 [401 Willie Griggs filed a class action, on behalf of several fellow African- American employees, against his employer Duke Power Company . The objective of Congress in the enactment of Title VII is plain from the language of the statute. In 1971, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Griggs v. Duke Power, which transformed our nation’s work places. GRIGGS v. DUKE POWER CO.(1971) No. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is, as to that portion of the judgment appealed from, reversed. Prac. It held that, in the absence of a discriminatory purpose, use of such requirements was permitted by the Act. Proponents of Title VII sought throughout the debate to assure the critics that the Act would have no effect on job-related tests. 28 L.Ed.2d 158. (1961). U.S. 424, 437]. 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. 110 Cong. The Supreme Court first described the disparate impact theory in 1971, in Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424, 431-2 (1971): Title VII "proscribes not only overt discrimination but also practices that are fair in form, but discriminatory in operation. The amendment was then adopted. 849. However, nothing there stated conflicts with the later memorandum dealing specifically with the debate over employer testing, 110 Cong. (Emphasis added.) Act by the enforcing agency is entitled to great deference. The Court of Appeals held that the Company had adopted the diploma and test requirements without any "intention to discriminate against Negro employees." 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. § 2000e-2 (k). . [ In short, the Act does not command that any ^ Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971). 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 It held that, absent such discriminatory purpose, use of the requirements was permitted, and rejected the claim that because a disproportionate number of Negroes was rendered ineligible for promotion, transfer, or employment, the requirements were unlawful unless shown to be job related. Held: BURGER, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which all members joined except BRENNAN, J., who took no part in the consideration or decision of the case. Which legislation was responsible for the creation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission? 4. (1970); Udall v. Tallman, Duke Power, prior to the Act, had followed a policy of overt discrimination by confining those blacks hired to the labor department, in which the highest paying jobs Rec. Id., at 1607.4 (c). The Company added a further requirement for new employees on July 2, 1965, the date on which Title VII became effective. tests, as well as to have a high school education. 91 S.Ct. But Congress directed the thrust of the Act to the consequences of employment practices, not simply the motivation. It has - to resort again to the fable - provided that the vessel in which the milk is proffered be one all seekers can use. Please try again. The facts of this case demonstrate the inadequacy of broad and general testing devices as well as the infirmity of using diplomas or degrees as fixed measures of capability. 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. 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 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. . See remarks of Senators Ervin, 110 Cong. [401 In Griggs v. Duke Power Company, Griggs sued the power company because it required coal handlers to be high school graduates. 124 Argued: December 14, 1970 Decided: March 8, 1971. 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. Rec. 367 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. Griggs v. Duke Power Company (a 1971 Supreme Court decision) concluded that EEOC’s “interpretations” of Title VII were “entitled to great deference,” simply because they reflect “ [t]he administrative interpretation of the Act by the enforcing agency.” Microsoft Edge. It concerned employment discrimination and the adverse impact theory, and was decided on March 8, 1971. 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. [401 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. 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.   Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971). Guide, § 6139 (Feb. 19, 1970). CO. AND THE CONCEPT OF EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION . . these assurances, Senator Tower of Texas introduced an amendment authorizing "professionally developed ability tests." 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. We recommend using   [401 Basic intelligence must have the means of articulation to manifest itself fairly in a testing process. If an employment practice which operates to exclude Negroes cannot be shown to be related to job performance, the practice is prohibited.   Firefox, or Since the Act and its legislative history support the Commission's construction, this affords good reason to treat the guidelines as expressing the will of Congress. Reg. Argued December 14, 1970. The touchstone is business necessity. The Supreme Court’s decision in Griggs v. Duke Power Company, 401 U.S. 424 (1971), addressed the Title VII issues created by employer policies that are facially neutral, but which adversely impact employees on the basis of race, sex, or religion. 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. 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. Omissions? 5 The opposition to the amendment was based on its loose wording which the proponents of Title VII feared would be susceptible of misinterpretation. Footnote 8 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. Rec. ] The test standards are thus more stringent than the high school requirement, since they would screen out approximately half of all high school graduates. History is filled with examples of men and women who rendered highly effective performance without the conventional badges of accomplishment in terms of certificates, diplomas, or degrees. Google Chrome, All rights reserved. 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. This language indicates that Senator Tower's aim was simply to make certain that job-related tests would be permitted. 5662.) [ 395 tests should be validated for jobs similar to those for which they will be used). (1969). The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Griggs because _____. 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. [ See 42 U.S.C. U.S. 424, 431] In so doing, the Court of Appeals rejected the claim that because these two requirements operated to render ineligible a markedly disproportionate number of Negroes, they were unlawful under Title VII unless shown to be job related. 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. Griggs v. Duke Power Company (1971) was the Supreme Court case that established disparate impact discrimination. [401 U.S. 424, 430] Wards Cove Packing Company v. Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, Pub. 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." in the case of any individual who is seeking employment with such employer, such test is designed to determine or predict whether such individual is suitable or trainable with respect to his employment in the particular business or enterprise involved . In Griggs v. Duke Power Company, Griggs sued the power company because it required coal handlers to be high school graduates. 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. 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). ] The Court of Appeals majority, in finding no requirement in Title VII that employment tests be job related, relied in part on a March 8, 1971, 434 ] Act by the Supreme Court ruled in favor Griggs. 70-552, CCH Empl incorporates public domain material from this U.S government document dealing specifically with the later dealing! H ) of the griggs vs duke power eeoc 401 U.S. 424 ( 1971 ) no, 29 CFR 1607, Fed. 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