The Supreme Court interpreted Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Law so that if employment practices have an adverse effect on minorities or women, employers are required to show that the practices are clearly related to job performance.
On July 2, 1965, the day that Title VII took effect, Duke Power instituted a new policy of requiring high school graduation and minimum grades on aptitude tests as requirements for jobs previously reserved for whites. Although the requirements applied to all races, the effect was to disqualify a disproportionate number of African Americans.
By an 8-0 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that the power company’s requirements violated Title VII. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger
Because of the cost and difficulty in validating job requirements, critics argue that the landmark Griggs decision put pressure on employers to discard reasonable requirements or to adopt hiring quotas. Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio (1989)
Race and discrimination
Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio