Create a PowerPoint presentation including the following:
12 to 15 slides
Clip art or eye-catching graphs or pictures
Review all 3 of the following cases and labor issues:
Griggs vs. Duke Power
Either the Supreme Court’s ruling about reverse discrimination involving the New Haven, Connecticut Fire Department, or the Bakke Case
For each of the 3 cases and labor issues, describe the following:
What the issue was about
Why its broad application to business in general is important to HR managers like Jane and line managers
Griggs V. Duke power Co. was a landmark ruling argued in the U.S. Supreme Court (Findlaw. (n.d). The landmark ruling was made in 1971, and involved adverse impact theory and employment discrimination. This case was presented to court by NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) on behalf of the employees of African-American descent. In this case, Duke Power Co. had for a long time segregated its employees along racial lines. The best kind of jobs were reserved for the whites while the manual and low-paying jobs were reserved for the African-Americans. The highest paid worker among the African-Americans earned less than the lowest paid worker among the white employees.
In 1964, the Civil Rights Act came into effect after it was passed by the Congress Findlaw. (n.d). This act was aimed at eliminating racial discrimination at the workplace. As such, the act made it illegal for any organization to discriminate employees based on racial preferences. Following the ruling, Duke Power Co. stopped openly discriminating employees based on race but employed other means to do so. African-American employees who wanted to work outside the labor department were required to take standardized IQ tests or had to bear a high school diploma in order to warrant a promotion to other departments. The new policies perpetuated racial discrimination just like the company had done in the years before the ruling came into effect. The new tests established were discriminatory in that they disqualified African-Americans at a significantly higher rate to the whites.
Duke Power Co. did not use objective assessments that would evaluate the job performance of African-Americans for promotion purposes. The new tests had only served to perpetuate racial discrimination at the power company. In 1970, a case against Duke Power Co. was presented by LDF to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the African-American employees. In its ruling, the Supreme Court referred to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prevented discrimination at the workplace. The Supreme Court held that the act not only involves overt discrimination practices, but also issues concerning fairness in operations. The court observed that tests were of great importance when correctly used. However, when they were used to segregate employees based on their race, they contravened the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Belton, 2014).
The application of this ruling to business is of great importance to HR managers and line managers as well. Griggs v. Duke Power Co. ruling made it a requirement that employers are legally mandated to describe the business necessity of conducting a particular test. Prior to the ruling, employers had no legal mandate to distinguish intentional and unintentional wrongs if just by appearance the employees were treated on an equal basis. The ruling also means that employees can be able to challenge discriminatory job-selection procedures. HR managers and line managers must thus ensure that all tests given for job selection purposes are fair and measures job performance. HR managers and line managers should not use any arbitrary barriers to hinder employment based on racial preferences.
The Supreme Court ruling on Bakke case is yet another important landmark ruling relating to racial discrimination. This case was also known as Regents of University of California v. Bakke (1978) (“LII,” n.d). This case involved the use of “quotas” for admission purposes in University of California’s Medical School. In these quotas, the school reserved 16 of the total 100 seats for minority students as part of the affirmative action. The minority students included Asians, Blacks, American Indians, and Chicanos. This admission criteria was established by the school committee. Allan Bakke had twice unsuccessfully applied for admission into the university. This is despite the fact that his scores were much higher than those of the minority groups who had been allowed admission into the university’s medical program. Bakken then brought forward a lawsuit against the university for failing to admit him.
Bakke’s claim in the lawsuit is that University of California had violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to admit him on racial grounds. The California Supreme Court ruled that the university’s quota system violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court ruled in favor of Bakke that the quota system discriminated against ethnic and racial groups. Thus, no person could be locked out of the admission process due to his or her race. Similar standards would apply upon all applicants irrespective of their race. The medical school was then ordered to disband the quota system which was racially discriminative. In 1978, the medical school appealed the decision to do away with the quota system to the U.S. Supreme Court (“LII,” n.d).
The Supreme Court reviewed the appeal made by the medical school and made a landmark ruling which set precedence for other similar cases. The Supreme Court ruled that race may be used as a factor in university admissions in particular states. Nonetheless, this must be for the sole purpose of promoting educational diversity. Such a decision to admit on racial basis would only come into play if the school considered all other factors and case-by-case analysis. The medical school’s use of quotas in admission process was however racially discriminative because it did not consider particular factors. According to the law, the state must provide equal protection on all citizens. The medical school thus discriminated against the whites by using the quota system (“LII,” n.d).
The Bakke case ruling is of great significance to HR managers and line managers. Although the Supreme Court ruled that race may be used as a factor in school admission process, the court also issued strict provisions over how such actions could be regarded lawful. In the next several years, the Supreme Court limited the use of affirmative action programs and quotas. In the business sector, this ruling means that HR managers and line managers should not hire employees based on racial preferences. Although there is need to achieve diversity in the workplace, employers should not discriminate against any persons based on their race. In other words, reverse discrimination had applied in the case of Bakke which should not be the case.
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) was enacted to ensure that advance notice was served to employees in cases of mass layoffs and plant closure. This was meant to give employees enough time to adjust to a new life. The WARN legislation requires employers with over 1000 employees to give a 60 –days advance notice to employees of the possibility of mass layoffs or plant closing. The act also requires the employer to notify the employees’ labor union, local government officials such as the mayor, and the state dislocated worker unit. The employees covered by WARN Act includes salaried workers, managers, supervisors, and those who work on hourly basis (“U.S. Department of Labor,” (n.d))
WARN legislation does not cover some workers. For instance, the legislation does not include the employees who have worked for a period less than 6 months in the last one year. Similarly, employees who work for less than 20 hours a week are not covered by the legislation. Workers who engage in industrial action are also not protected by the legislation. Those who are engaged in temporary projects such as contracts are also not protected by the legislation. The legislation also excludes other individuals who may be in one way or another associated with the business such as business partners, contract employees, consultants and others. Lastly, the legislation does not cover state and federal employees (“U.S. Department of Labor,” (n.d)).
WARN legislation came into effect in 1988 after it was passed by Congress (“U.S. Department of Labor,” (n.d)). As earlier mentioned, the purpose of this legislation was to allow workers, their unions, state and local governments react to the job loss before it actually occurred. It is important to note that mass layoffs have a drastic impact not only to the employees who lose their jobs but also to their families as well as the local government. Mass layoffs may also impact the entire economy at large. The WARN Act relies on enforcements in the federal law courts. WARN Act came into effect after research indicated that layoffs and plant closings resulted to negative public health effects. Giving workers advance notice mitigated the negative effects.
WARN legislation is of great importance to business. HR managers and line managers should familiarize well with the WARN legislation in order to ensure that any layoffs are conducted as per established laws. HR managers in large organizations must give employees advance notice prior to any layoffs or risk legal charges. The HR managers and line managers must also provide advance notice to other associated bodies such as employee unions, state governments and the national governments. Failure to this may lead to legal consequences (“U.S. Department of Labor,” (n.d))