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Supreme Court of the United States
Argued February 25, 1976 ; May 19, 1976 1
[*663] [***288] [**1808] MR. JUSTICE STEWART delivered the opinion of the Court.
The issue in this case is to what extent, if any, the Federal Power Commission, in the performance of its [****4] functions under the Federal Power Act, 41 Stat. 1063, as amended, 16 U.S.C. § 791a et seq. (Power Act), and the Natural Gas Act, 52 Stat. 821, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 717 et seq. (Gas Act), has authority to prohibit discriminatory employment practices on the part of its regulatees.
In 1972 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and several other organizations petitioned the Commission to issue a rule "requiring equal employment opportunity and nondiscrimination [**1809] in the employment practices of its regulatees." The proposed rule would have required the regulated companies to adopt affirmative action programs to combat discrimination in employment and would have given any person who believed himself to have been subjected to employment discrimination by any such company the right to file a complaint with the Commission. 3
[****5] The Commission refused to adopt the proposed rule, holding that it had no jurisdiction to do so because "the purposes of the Natural Gas and Federal Power Acts are economic regulation of entrepreneurs engaged in resource developments. So considered, we do not find the necessary nexus between those aspects of our economic regulatory activities and the employment procedures of the utility systems which we regulate, as would justify [adopting petitioners' proposed rule]." 48 F.P.C. 40, 44.
On petition for review, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed that the Commission was without "power… to prescribe personnel practices in detail and to receive complaints, adjudicate them, and punish directly infractions of those practices." 172 U.S. App. D.C. 32, 35, 520 F. 2d 432, 435. The court held, however, that the Commission does have "power to take [*665] into account, in the performance of its regulatory functions, including licensing and rate review, evidence that the regulatee is a demonstrated discriminator in its employment relations." Ibid.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
425 U.S. 662 *; 96 S. Ct. 1806 **; 48 L. Ed. 2d 284 ***; 1976 U.S. LEXIS 99 ****; 12 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 1251; 11 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) P10,909; 15 P.U.R.4th 383
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE ET AL. v. FEDERAL POWER COMMISSION
Prior History: CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT
costs, regulatees, public interest, employment discrimination, regulation, discriminatory employment practices, employment practice, natural gas, duplicative, purposes, proposed rule, transportation, rates
Energy & Utilities Law, Pipelines & Transportation, Electricity Transmission, Electric Power Industry, Federal Power Act, General Overview, Business & Corporate Compliance, Federal Rate Regulation, Electric Power Rates, Natural Gas Industry, Distribution & Sale, Marketing & Transportation, Natural Gas Act, Natural Gas Transportation, Regulators, US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Labor & Employment Law, Title VII Discrimination, Remedies, Affirmative & Equitable Relief, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, State Regulation