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In Griggs v. Duke Power Company (1971), the U.S. Supreme Court first articulated how to review cases of disparate-impact discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In its unanimous opinion, the Court held that an employment practice violates Title VII if it operates to exclude or discriminate against employees or job seekers on grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, or sex and the policies are unrelated to job performance.

Facts of the Case

Willie Griggs represented a class of African American employees who challenged the Duke Power Company's requirements of a high school diploma and an intelligence test as prerequisites for obtaining a job. Griggs was able to prove that both requirements operated to disqualify minority applicants at a higher rate ...

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