Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 "is a broad remedial measure designed 'to assure equality of employment opportunities.'" The Su- preme Court, in the seminal Title VII employment discrimination case, Griggs v. Duke Power Co.,s stated that "[t]he objective of Congress in the enactment of Title VII ...was to achieve equality of employment oppor- tunities and remove barriers that have operated in the past to favor an identifiable group of white employees over other employees."" The Griggs decision has provided the basic framework for analyzing employment dis- crimination cases. The Court held that any employment practices, proce- dures or tests (employment practices) that had the consequences of favoring white employees over other employees was proscribed by Title VII.5 The Griggs Court perceived that Congress' intent was to remove all barriers to employment which operate to discriminate against blacks and all other protected classes.6 Discriminatory intent was not necessary.7 Any act of an employer" that operated to "freeze the status quo of prior dis-
criminatory employment practices" was deemed illegal unless excused by "business necessity.""0 Congress' clear intent in including Title VII in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was to remove barriers to employment for minor- ities and to force employers to make employment decisions on the basis of job qualifications rather than on the basis of "race, sex, religion or na- tional origin.""" Congress included sanctions in Title VII against an em- ployer whose employment practices discriminate against a qualified job applicant or employee. Section 706(g) 2 empowers the courts to enjoin the employer "from engaging in such unlawful employment practice, and order such affirmative action as may be appropriate, which may include... reinstatement or hiring of employees, with or without back pay ... or any other equitable relief as the court deems appropriate.
Joseph D. McCluskey,
Employment Discrimination-Seniority Systems Under Title VII: American Tobacco Co. v. Pattersonand Pullman-Standard v. Swint,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol17/iss2/10