Discrimination in the workplace is not a new issue. It has been an issue for many years. Ty Hyderally has many years of successful litigation in cases dealing with employment law. Ty Hyderally is considered an expert on employment law in New York and the surrounding areas. Cases like Griggs v Duke Power Co. help to set the precedent in cases that are still being heard by the courts today.
Griggs v. Duke Power Company was one of the fist causes of its type. It was presented before the US Supreme Court in December of 1970 and was decided in March of the next year. The major concern was employment discrimination as well as the disparate impact theory. The court found that the company had requirements in place for applicants that were not pertinent to be able to properly perform the job as required. Thus, it was indirectly discriminating against African American employees, although that was not the company’s original intention.
The Duke Power’s Dan River plant’s policy in 1950 was that African Americans could only work in its labor department. These were the lowest paying jobs that the company had available. Later, in 1955, the company also stipulated that higher paying jobs must be filled with personnel who had obtained a high school diploma.
When the Civil Rights Act was passed Duke Power Plant removed racial restrictions concerning employment but the high school diploma policy remained. They also added that an IQ test was required for employment. Because African American applicants were not likely to have obtained a high school diploma, and scored lower average scores on IQ tests, they were selected for employment for these positions fewer times than white applicants.
The Supreme Court’s ruling was that businesses must show that such requirements must be directly, or at least reasonably, related to the job for which testing is required. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits the use of testing as a decisive factor for employment, if it is not a “reasonable measure of job performance.” This is regarded as the rule whether or not discrimination towards any group was intentional or not. Duke Power’s procedure for transferring employees was found to be a violation of the Civil Rights Act, since the requirements of a high school diploma and aptitude tests were not directly related to the performance levels required by the position. Griggs v Duke Power Company held that an employer has the burden of proving the necessity of the testing before being able to require it as a basis of employment.