Company's Analysis Essay on Griggs and Duke Power

Published: 2021-07-19
820 words
3 pages
7 min to read
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
Case study
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The black workers at Duke Power Firm brought the action in accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They were challenging the corporation for prerequisite of high school diploma or going through an intelligence test that everyone was required to pass in order to get employment or be promoted within the firm("United States Supreme.", 2017). The requirements were not intended to fathom ability to learn and gain skills required for a given job or category of job. Black workers were excluded from all departments, but they were only allowed on labor department which paid the lowest amount of wage ("Griggs v. Duke Power Co.", 2017). Since the case was determined, it has transformed the workplaces of the U.S. (Moreno, 2015). 703 (a) of the Act states that it is unlawful for a company to segregate, limit, or classify workers or denial them opportunities to employments or negatively affect their status due to their color, race, sex, religion. In the same Act, 703 (h) offer employers an authority to apply any professionally constructed ability test that is not intended or used to discriminate some people ("Jack Greenberg Arguing Griggs v Duke Power," 2017).

The Griggs case started in the 1970s, when black American employees at the Duke Power Company sued the firm because of the policy that required all workers who were being promoted to different departments to a possess a high-school diploma, go through an intelligence test and pass. Plaintiffs who were employees at the Company argued that the requirements did not measure the ability of a person to perform a given job or category of tasks. Instead, they were attempting to get around the law prohibiting discrimination in the workplace. According to employees due to the inferior segregated education system in North Carolina to black people, a large number of black Americans were declared to be ineligible for a job transfer, promotion, and employment (Levy, Karst, & Winkler, 2000).

According to the applicants, the major issue was that Duke Power Company was acting in contrary to 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title VII, s. 703 [a], that declares:

[a ] It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer

(1) to fail or otherwise to discriminate against any individual concerning his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. ("FindLaw's the United States Supreme Court case," 2017)

According to the Company, it did not discriminate anybody, but it was applying high school diploma and intelligence testing prerequisite to ensure their employees were competent. Their practice was in accord with s. 703 (h) of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which gives employers authority to apply various forms of compensation, different conditions, or privileges of employment in accordance with a bona fide seniority (Miksch, n.d.). Also, they should apply merit system to measure earnings by quality or quantity of production, to worker executing their duties in various locations. The Section stipulates that all these acts should not be unlawful employment practice such using sex or race to determine the amount of remuneration or promotion credibility (Turk, 2015).

The court came up with the final decision that the plaintiff had been discriminated as the company was not adhering to the Civil Rights Act. According to the court ruling - the Act obliges the employer to eliminate arbitrary, artificial, and unnecessary hurdles to employment practice especially those that act to exclude black Americans and they do not directly relate to job performance. Such acts should be prohibited even though the employer had no discriminatory intent. In cases where the company practices disproportionate affects the minority groups, the organization should demonstrate and verify that the actions were crucial and held no ulterior intention. The case marked the inclusion of the concept of circumlocutory discrimination into the Civil Right Act or anti-discrimination law discourse.


Abernathy, C. F. (2000). Civil rights and constitutional litigation: Cases and materials. St. Paul, MN: West Group.

Employment Testing: The Aftermath of Griggs v. Duke Power Company. (1972). Columbia Law Review, 72(5), 900.

FindLaw's the United States Supreme Court case and opinions.. (2017). Findlaw. Retrieved from

FindLaw's the United States Supreme Court case and opinions. (2017). Findlaw. Retrieved from

Griggs v. Duke Power Co. Case Brief - Quimbee. (2017). Retrieved from

Levy, L. W., Karst, K. L., & Winkler, A. (2000). Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. New York: Macmillan Reference USA.

Listen to Jack Greenberg Make History Arguing Griggs v Duke Power at SCOTUS | NAACP LDF. (2017). Retrieved from

Miksch, K. (n.d.). Griggs v. Duke Power Company. Encyclopedia of Education Law.

Moreno, P. (2015). The Crusade for Equality in the Workplace: The Griggs v. Duke Power Story. Journal Of American History, 101(4), 1334-1335.

Turk, K. (2015). The Crusade for Equality in the Workplace: Griggs v. Duke PowerStory by Robert Belton. Lawrence, University Press of Kansas, 2014. 242 pp. Political Science Quarterly, 130(2), 381-383.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: