If the Civil Rights Act exists to protect our rights in the workplace, then why does Affirmative Action exist and what is it? Secondly, within the Civil Rights Act, we are protected against discrimination, yet more and more acts are required to protect individual's rights, such as the American Disability Act (ADA), and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This implies that employees are still segregating, and discriminating, in spite of the Civil Rights Act, so what are the additional rights these acts provide? Under the ADA, can a blind person get any job they desire, and does anyone qualify under the FMLA to take time off from work, and if so for how long? It is these issues and more that will be discussed in depth, to help better understand our rights in the workplace.
Affirmative Action was empowered by Executive order 11246 in 1965, affecting employers with 50 or more employees, which have contracts with the government valued greater than $50,000.
In general, government contractors must agree to non-discrimination policies and submit a written affirmative action plan, and an employer must show that its workforce is sufficiently diverse concerning women and minorities. Under-representation and under-utilization is defined by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), as "having fewer minorities or women in a particular job group than would reasonably be expected by their availability" (Bennet-Alexander , 2001, pp.367), and if these conditions exists, corrective action must be implemented.
The Supreme Court, concerning affirmative action, has established several significant judicial precedents that affect today's work environment. Two significant and defining cases that have occurred are, the Local 28 Sheet Metal Workers v. EEOC, and Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. In the case of Local 28 v. EEOC, Local 18 had been in contempt of court...