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EEO Case. Kenneth M. York School of Business Administration Oakland University. Griggs v. Duke Power 401 U.S. 424 (1971) . Facts of the case Company had 5 departments Black employees in labor department only No whites in labor Labor is the lowest paying department

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eeo case

EEO Case

Kenneth M. York

School of Business Administration

Oakland University

griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 1971
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Facts of the case
    • Company had 5 departments
      • Black employees in labor department only
      • No whites in labor
      • Labor is the lowest paying department
      • Before the CRA of 1964 the company had an openly discriminatory hiring and promotion policy
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 19711
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Facts of the case
    • After the CRA of 1964 the company instituted a new promotion system, with new requirements:
      • High school diploma, and
      • Passing 2 achievement tests:
        • Wonderlic
        • Bennett Mechanical Aptitude Test
        • Cutoff used was national median for high school graduates (i.e., half of all high school graduates would not pass)
    • Purpose of the new system was purported to be to improve the general quality of the workforce

Multiple Cutoffs

griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 19712
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Facts of the case
    • Percentage of North Carolina population with high school diploma (according to 1960 census, Footnote 6):
      • Black = 12%
      • White = 34%
      • AIR = 12/34 = .35
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 19713
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Facts of the case
    • Wonderlic Personnel Test
      • Description: The WPT is a short form measure of cognitive ability designed for simple administration and interpretation. The WPT is a crucial component of any successful hiring program.
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 19714
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Facts of the case
    • Wonderlic Personnel Test
      • The WPT takes only 12 minutes to complete. It accurately measures a candidate\'s ability to:
        • Learn a specific job
        • Solve problems
        • Understand instructions
        • Apply knowledge to new situations
        • Benefit from specific job training
        • Be satisfied with a particular job

“Evaluate your candidates\' cognitive ability-the most accurate predictor of employment success.”

griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 19715
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Facts of the case
    • Wonderlic Personnel Test
      • The WPT enables you to match people with positions that suit their learning speed and aptitude. Using normative information, data from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and the U.S. Department Of Labor\'s O*Net database, Wonderlic can provide suggested minimum scores for every job in the economy.
      • Since 1937, more than 120 million people at thousands of organizations worldwide have taken the WPT.
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 19716
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)

Sample Questions

  • Facts of the case
    • Wonderlic Personnel Test
      • When rope is selling at $.10 a foot, how many feet can you buy for sixty cents?
      • Assume the first 2 statements are true. Is the final one:
        • 1 true,
        • 2 false,
        • 3 not certain?
        • The boy plays baseball.
        • All baseball players wear hats.
        • The boy wears a hat.
      • Paper sells for 21 cents per pad. What will 4 pads cost?
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 19717
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Facts of the case
    • Wonderlic Personnel Test is used by the NFL as a pre-draft selection test
    • Travis Dorsch of the Purdue Boilermakers scored 42 on on the NFL\'s pre-draft Wonderlic Personnel Test in 2002, the highest since Harvard\'s Pat McInally in 1978
    • Career stats with Cincinnati Bengals: played one game, 5 punts, 162 total yards, 32.4 yard average; 3 returns, 153 total yards, 2 TD, net average 1.8 yards
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 19718
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Facts of the case
    • Bennett Mechanical Aptitude Test
      • Measures an applicant’s understanding of mechanical concepts
      • The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT) measures a complex set of abilities composed of three primary facets or constructs:
        • 1) mechanical information,
        • 2) spatial visualization, and
        • 3) mechanical reasoning or understanding.
      • The knowledge measured by this test is based on common experiences, and special training seems to have little effect on test scores.
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 19719
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Facts of the case
    • Percentage passing the Wonderlic plus Bennett (Footnote 6):
      • Black = 6%
      • White = 58%
      • AIR = 6/58 = .10
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 197110
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Facts of the case
    • Class action suit for all blacks employed at Duke Power
    • Criteria for making a class action suit:
      • Numerosity--at least 16 people affected
      • Typicality--pattern or practice of the employer; not a one time incident
      • Commonality--all people in the class are similarly situated
      • Representativeness--of the person representing the class in the suit
    • Purpose of a class action suit is judicial economy, to combine nearly identical cases and settle them as one
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 197111
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Ruling of the Supreme Court
    • Employer violated Title VII because neither the tests nor the high school diploma were shown to be job related
      • No demonstrable relationship to successful performance on the job, i.e., the test was not valid
      • Both requirements disqualified blacks at a substantially higher rate than whites, this is adverse impact
    • There was evidence of past discrimination--all inside jobs were filled only by whites before 1965, this pattern continued unchanged after 1965
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 197112
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Ruling of the Supreme Court
    • White employees selected before the high school diploma requirement was put into effect were performing satisfactorily, therefore the requirement could not be job related (concurrent validity)
    • The cutoff scores used on the two tests were in effect also high school diploma requirements, only higher (would select out half of all high school graduates)
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 197113
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Ruling of the Supreme Court
    • No disparate treatment occurred, the standards were applied equally to blacks and whites, but the effect was adverse for blacks
    • Practices or procedures which are neutral on their face or in their intent may freeze the status quo of past discrimination (structural discrimination)
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 197114
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Ruling of the Supreme Court
    • Any employment practice which operates to exclude blacks must be shown to be related to job performance, else it is illegal
      • Effect was to discourage use of broad and general testing devices or diplomas or degrees as fixed measures of capability (with a recent return with validity generalization)
      • Congress did not mandate that less qualified people be preferred over more qualified because of their minority origins; Congress made job qualifications the controlling factor so that race, religion, nationality, and sex become irrelevant
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 197115
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Relevant law or guideline
    • Civil Rights Act of 1964, SEC. 2000e-2. [Section 703
      • It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –
        • to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual\'s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or
        • to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual\'s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 197116
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Relevant law or guideline
    • Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection , Section 41CFR60-3.4(d), Adverse impact and the “four-fifths rule.\'\'
    • A selection rate for any race, sex, or ethnic group which is less than four-fifths (4/5) (or eighty percent) of the rate for the group with the highest rate will generally be regarded by the Federal enforcement agencies as evidence of adverse impact, while a greater than four-fifths rate will generally not be regarded by Federal enforcement agencies as evidence of adverse impact.
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 197117
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • Relevant law or guideline
    • Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection, Section 41CFR60-3.3(a), Discrimination defined: Relationshipbetween use of selection procedures and discrimination
    • Procedure having adverse impact constitutes discrimination unless justified. The use of any selection procedure which has an adverse impact on the hiring, promotion, or other employment or membership opportunities of members of any race, sex, or ethnic group will be considered to be discriminatory and inconsistent with these guidelines, unless the procedure has been validated in accordance with these guidelines, or the provisions of section 6 of this part are satisfied.
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 197118
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • The application of the case to the effective and legal management of human resources
    • Adverse Impact: Any selection procedure where the selection ratio of the minority group is less than 80% of the selection ratio of the majority group has adverse impact and cannot be used unless it can be proved to be job-related
griggs v duke power 401 u s 424 197119
Griggs v. Duke Power401 U.S. 424 (1971)
  • The application of the case to the effective and legal management of human resources
    • Test Validation: Any selection procedure having adverse impact is discriminatory, unless it can be shown to be valid. Tests may be shown to be valid by Criterion-related, Contest-related, or Construct-related validation studies.
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