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Affirmative Action (AA)

Define Affirmative Action? Which employers are subject to Affirmative Action laws? What potential impact does Affirmative Action have on employees and the workplace?

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1. Define Affirmative Action?

Two definitions to consider are:

Affirmative action is a policy or a program that seeks to redress past discrimination through active measures to ensure equal opportunity, as in education and employment. http://www.answers.com/topic/affirmative-action?cat=biz-fin

Affirmative action refers to concrete steps that are taken not only to eliminate discrimination?whether in employment, education, or contracting?but also to attempt to redress the effects of past discrimination. The underlying motive for affirmative action is the Constitutional principle of equal opportunity, which holds that all persons have the right to equal access to self-development. In other words, persons with equal abilities should have equal opportunities.
(Small Business Encyclopedia as cited in URL: http://www.answers.com/topic/affirmative-action?cat=biz-fin).

2. Which employers are subject to Affirmative Action (AA) laws?

The legal status of affirmative action was legislated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited discrimination in voting, public education and accommodations, and employment in firms with more than fifteen employees. This still holds true for employers who have more than 15 employees (see excerpt below for different AA requirments for different types of employers and application e.g., federal versus public, etc.).

"Title VII of the Civil Rights Act offered a similar understanding of affirmative action as Executive Order 10925, stating that the act was not designed "to grant preferential treatment to any group because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." The act's sponsors, Senators Joseph Clark and Clifford Case, emphasized this non-preferential interpretation of affirmative action when they wrote: "There is no requirement in Title VII that an employer maintain a racial balance in his workforce. On the contrary, any deliberate attempt to maintain a racial balance, whatever such a balance may be, would involve a violation of Title VII, because maintaining such a balance would require an employer to hire or refuse to hire on the basis of race."" ( Small Business Encyclopedia as cited in URL: http://www.answers.com/topic/affirmative-action?cat=biz-fin).

3. What potential impact does Affirmative Action have on employees and the workplace?

Affirmative Action provides ...

Solution Summary

Overviews Affirmative Action (AA) including the definition, employers that are subject to AA, and the impact AA has on employees and the workplace.

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