Running head: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Affirmative Action Paper
University of Phoenix
May 4, 2010
Instructor: Eleanor T. Lawrence, DBA & PsyD
Affirmative Action Paper
This Paper explain the fundamentals of Affirmative Action as it applies to public sector and private sector employers, and how it interacts with Title VII requirements of Equal Employment Opportunity. It addresses the following:
a. What employers are subject to affirmative action plans and why?
b. What do the plans require employers to do?
c. What happens if employers do not meet the goals of the affirmative action plan?
In these situations, affirmative action programs are used to help add balance to industries with historical statistical imbalances. They do this by encouraging employers to show preference to minority employees with equal qualifications until balance is achieved. Employers who do not follow these guidelines may be required to adopt an affirmative action plan through court order. If they do not correct the imbalance, then the companies can be prosecuted under the Title VII statutes.
“Many, mistakenly, think affirmative action is a law that takes qualified whites or males out of their jobs and gives the jobs to unqualified minorities or females, or that affirmative action is an entitlement program that provides unqualified women or minorities with jobs while qualified whites or males, or both, are shut out of the workplace.” (Bennett-Alexander and Hartman, 2007). In reality, affirmative action plans help give women and minorities opportunities to work in fields that have been historically, predominantly, dominated by Caucasians and males. For example, the legal profession has been dominated by white males for most of America’s history. Because of this, affirmative action programs target law schools during the admissions process and law firms during both hiring and promotion.
Implementing a Court Ordered Affirmative Action Plan
Court ordered affirmative actions plans have requirements that prevent them from being overly burdensome on third parties and from allowing unqualified individuals to be promoted or hired. “Some employers adopt voluntary affirmative action programs in order to remedy past adverse impact against particular protected classes. For example, an employer may implement a plan to encourage more women to apply for a job category traditionally dominated by men” (PPS, 2008). Affirmative action plans should be temporary, and they should dissolve after the plan’s goals have been achieved. If companies continue hiring and promoting minorities at an unbalanced rate after the adverse impact has been remedied, they are at risk for receiving a reverse discrimination charge.
Businesses required complying with Title VII Regulations
Most companies are required to comply with Title VII, and are eligible to participate in affirmative action programs. “For example, as of 2005, federal laws such as Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to private employers, employment agencies, educational institutions, and state and local governments with at least 15 employees. Other federal laws, like the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, apply to private employers with at least 20 employees” (Gross, 2008). Understandably, smaller companies may have a difficult time proving that they have not participated in discrimination practices because percentages can be...