Griggs v. Duke Power Company

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1970

420 F.2d 1225

Eskridge, pp. 42-47


Facts: Duke Power previously did not allow African-American employees to be promoted out of the Labor Department (i.e. janitors).  Duke Power enforced this by requiring employees to have a high school diploma in order to be promoted out of the Labor Department.  In light of the Civil Rights Act, they changed their policy such that one of two high school equivalency tests could stand in the place of a high school diploma.


Issue: Are the diploma and testing requirements acceptable under Title VII?




Analysis: In the opinion of the court, even though the EEOC has held testing requirements unlawful, this finding cannot stand if it is in direct conflict with the legislative history.


The minority shows more deference to the EEOC interpretation of the statute.


Conclusion: Duke Power’s employment practices are found to be legal.


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