Discrimination in the Workplace: Facially Neutral Employment Policies May Lead to Unlawful Discrimination – Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971)

Discrimination in the Workplace: Facially Neutral Employment Policies May Lead to Unlawful Discrimination – Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971)

This US Supreme Court case is about discrimination in the workplace, which does not look like discrimination at first sight. It involves using facially neutral employment policies that have a disparate impact and lead to unlawful discrimination at work. A class action lawsuit was brought by Afro-American employees against their employer – Duke Power Company. The plaintiffs alleged that their employer used discriminatory practices when required a high school education or passing a standardized general intelligence test as a condition of employment, or transfer/promotion. The question which the Supreme Court had to decide is whether an employer was violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Act) when […]

Patronage In Employment – Rutan v. Republican Party, 497 U.S. 62 (1990)

Patronage In Employment – Rutan v. Republican Party, 497 U.S. 62 (1990)

Rutan v. Republican Party is a U.S. Supreme Court case. The Court finds that “promotions, transfers, and recalls after layoffs” on the basis of “political affiliation or support” are illegal. In 1980 Illinois Governor James Thompson issued an executive order that prohibited hiring new state employees for “every agency, bureau, board, or commission” subject to his control. The order emphasized that “no exceptions are permitted” and that permissions for hiring must be obtained through a special agency created by the Governor for this purpose. This action affected nearly 60,000 state positions. Governor Thompson used the system in order to screen the candidates for the state employee positions and limit the […]

What Pre-Employment Tests Are Used in the US?

What Pre-Employment Tests Are Used in the US?

There are more than 3,000 different employment and pre-employment tests on the U.S. market. Tens of millions of applicants take such tests every year. The employment testing and screening is a $500 million-a-year industry with an annual growth rate over 10%. Pre-employment tests differ by the testing areas. The types of pre-employment tests and procedures may include cognitive tests, physical ability tests, sample job tasks, medical inquiries and physical examination, personality and integrity tests, criminal background checks, credit checks, performance appraisals and other tests and screening techniques. Under the law, all of those tests should be done in a non-discriminatory manner . In addition to this some tests have specific […]

Legal Limits of Pre-Employment Tests

Legal Limits of Pre-Employment Tests

Employers use different employment tests and screening techniques to select employees that better fit certain jobs. Besides notoriously famous polygraph test which can be legally used only in limited number of special cases and the widely used Reid Report there are thousands of various tests that can be administered by employers to narrow down the pool of their potential and current employees. There are general “honesty tests” and more specific ability, performance and certain skills test. However, the question is: how far can the testing go? What kind of questions are allowed and not allowed? First of all, the tests should comply with the federal anti-discrimination laws. Title VII of […]

Discriminated Against by Ex’s Boyfriend at Work?

There are a lot of ways how an employee can be discriminated against at work. But can you be discriminated against by your ex’s boyfriend? Well, if he is your boss, then probably “yes.” And it’s not just a hypothetical question. That’s what allegedly happened in Stanford Business School. In 2014 former professor of Stanford University Graduate School of Business Mr. Phills filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against dean of the School Mr. Saloner and Stanford University (as co-defendants). According to Mr. Phills, he was the subject of harassment and wrongful termination by the dean, because the dean had an affair with Mr. Phills’s ex-wife. According to Mr. Phills, he […]