The role of affirmative action in employment and education is considered difficult to understand. Society has learned to identify affirmative action as a problem rather than to help and clarify the purpose of the plan. Overall, the two most affected by the positive aspect of this plan have been minorities and women. While not all employers are required to participate in this program, some employers are required due to contracts and size. Yet other employers are forced to comply with affirmative action standards because of discrimination claims against the employer. This document will discuss the application of Affirmative Action in the employment arena.
Furthermore, people believe that affirmative action applies to all employers, this is not necessarily correct. According to Bennet-Alexander and Hartman (2007) employers who have 50 or more employees and hold contracts with the federal government that provide goods or services worth more than $50,000 are required to have an affirmative action plan (AAP).
Most employers who hold federal contracts agree to stipulations of self-enforcement of and Affirmative Action Plan. The refusal by a contractor to abide by the AAP requirement is considered by the government as a possibility of discrimination against employees under Title VII (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2007, chap. 11). Other employers can self-impose Affirmative Action PlanÃÂs on their hiring practices while not required. Self-imposed AAPÃÂs of employers not required to have one are not recommended and could be considered a liability for the employer. The purpose of enforcement of AAPÃÂs in contractors and subcontractors of the federal government is to uphold the Civil Rights of those employees working for U.S. government contractors (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2007, chap. 11). Contractors must agree as term of their contract that the employer will refrain from discriminating against employees during hiring, termination, promotion and pay. The basis ofemployment practices cannot be on the basis of religion, color, race, gender or national origin (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2007, chap. 11).
A contractor or subcontractor of the U.S. Government is required to hire qualified women and minorities into the workplace if it has been determined that there has been an exclusion from the workplace. The stipulation is to make sure that an employer will work towards equality. In order for the employer to promote and advertise, they must comply with the following (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2007, chap. 11). Included in the contractors solicitations or advertisement for employment statement that all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to color, religion, color, gender or national origin. (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2007, chap. 11). In general, an employerÃÂs AAP must be quantitative and qualitative; this means the employer must be able to provide proof. One example is the use of an organizational profile for evaluation of the number of employees, who they are and what they do. This profile is analyzed and evaluates to be certain that the employees of a certain class all are paid equally (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2007, chap. 11).
After an employer has analyzed the workplace, improvement of any problems or unexpected findings must be resolved. If an employer is found to be deficient in a certain protected class, reasonable efforts must be made to resolve the issues. An employer has to make every possible attempt to plan for achieving the goal (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2007, chap. 11). Contractors with the U.S. government must also implement a plan of action for self-auditing that would measure how effective the AAP is. Part of the program must include a quality assurance module that adjusts the program as needed in order to better the outcome of the AAP.
What happens if employers do not meet the goals of the affirmative action plan? Many several actions will be taken if the employers do not meet the affirmative action plans are not meet. ÃÂEmployers can incur several penalties for not complying with the affirmative action laws. These fines can include; the publishing of their names as nonconforming contractors or labor unions, recommendations to the EEOC or Department of Justice to file proceedings under Title VII, suits of enforcement from the Attorney General in cases of threatened substantial violations of the contractual EEOC clause, recommendations for criminal proceeding to the Department of Justice for providing false information to the contracting agency or the Secretary of Labor, cancellation, termination, or suspension of their contract for failure to comply with the nondiscrimination provisions of their contract, debarred from entering into further government contracts until the contractor has satisfied the secretary that they will abide by the provisions of the order. Before canceling or surrendering a contract, the Secretary of Labor must make reasonable efforts to obtain compliance by conference, conciliation, mediation, and persuasion. In most cases there is not a need to proceed to more serious actions as contractors take OFCCP orders very seriously (ESA, 2004)ÃÂ.
In conclusion, Affirmative Action will only resolve so much. Individuals need to come together and learn how to separate personal and business beliefs. At the end of the day, a job must be completed and just because the individual is a women or a minority or has a disability does not mean the job will not be done right or at all. Affirmative Action will continue to be a subject that many do not like to discuss in the workplace and individuals will continue to be mistreated if the rules are not followed. If an individual feels as if they have been discriminated against because of race, religion, disability, or sex options are available and that individual has rights.
ReferencesBennett-Alexander, D., Hartman, L.P. (2004-2007). Employment Law for Business: Affirmative Action. The McGraw Hill Companies. Retrieved November 10, 2009.