In 1978, the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP) were issued. The guidelines are intended to establish a uniform basis of selection procedure criteria in the Federal sector. This guide imposes employers with the criteria by which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Departments of Justice and Labor would evaluate hiring practices to ensure adherence to merit principles.

The guidelines require employers to demonstrate selection procedures are valid in predicting and measuring performance in a particular job. Any selection procedure that has an adverse impact on any group will be considered discriminatory. Elements used in a selection process must be job-related, requiring criteria used to determine the candidates referred and selected be related to the job to be filled. The Guidelines provide employers with detailed information of recordkeeping requirements on disparate impact. (This is referred to as adverse impact in the Guidelines.)


One of the first important court cases to address the interpretation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was Griggs v. Duke Power Company. The driving force for this case was the requirement, by Duke Power, that laborers transferring to other departments have a high school diploma. This selection requirement failed under scrutiny since there were non-minorities who performed satisfactorily and achieved promotions though they did not have diplomas. In this case, the court emphasized that a selection device should measure the person for the job, not the person in the abstract. The tests did not have a demonstrated predictive affect on job performance.

The Supreme Court opinion in the 1971 landmark case of Griggs v. Duke Power Company reflected acceptance of the fundamental change in the definition of discrimination. This re-definition of discrimination was classified under the term “adverse impact” in the 1978 Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, an update and expansion of the original EEOC Guidelines that was jointly adopted by the EEOC, the federal Civil Service Commission, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Justice. More recently, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which was intended to reverse several Supreme Court rulings of the late 1980’s. This Act defined the statistically-defined adverse impact definition of discrimination.

J. R. Hackman and G. R. Oldham’s job characteristics model is an influential model of job design that explains in detail how managers can make jobs more interesting and motivating. Every job have five characteristics that determine how motivating the job is. These characteristics determine how employees react to their work and lead to outcomes such as high performance and satisfaction and low absenteeism and turnover.

Skill Variety

Task Identify

Task Significance