The Supreme Court Bans Employment Tests with Discriminatory Effects (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: The United States Supreme Court decided that the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibited employers from using tests unrelated to job performance if the tests had a racially discriminatory impact.
Summary of Event
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Griggs v. Duke Power Company interpreted the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as prohibiting the use of tests or requiring high school graduation for employment or promotion where the tests had a discriminatory impact and were not shown to be related to job performance. The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Griggs provided the first interpretation of the employment discrimination provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The case was also the Court’s first cut at the issue of job testing. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act forbade discriminatory employment practices but permitted employers to use “professionally developed ability test[s]” provided that they were not designed, intended, or used to discriminate. In interpreting this section of Title VII, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had ruled that only tests that measured job performance were authorized. The broad decision of the Court provided strong backing for lower courts in interpreting and applying the nondiscrimination requirements of the Civil Rights Act. The case sprang from a 1967 class action complaint filed by thirteen of the Duke Power Company’s African-American...
(The entire section is 1746 words.)
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