Affirmative Action Legislation

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Affirmative Action Legislation

Affirmative Action Legislation

The concept of Affirmative Action Legislation

Affirmative Action is a term used commonly in the United States for legal implications of equal employment opportunity measures. These measures are those that Federal contractors as well as subcontractors in the US are required to adopt. The main aim of such measures is to ensure that employees in the workplace do not face any form of discrimination, may it be sexual, racial, cultural or national. Affirmative action in the USA, as offered by the Department of Labor, incorporates campaigns for outreach, employee development, management development, targeted recruitment as well as support programs.

Over time, affirmative action has been cited to be one of the various ways of managing diversity. Diversity management refers to ensuring that the workforce contains employees from all genders, races, ethnicities, nationalities, religion, etc. Since diversity refers to the minimization of factors that impede multiculturalism (Rosado, 2006), any effort undertaken to benefit groups that have been ignored leads to an indirect reinforcement of a diverse workforce.

Every time an organization allocates resources including money and time to ensure the eradication of gender-based or ethnicity-based discrimination at the workplace, affirmative action is taking place. Affirmative action legislation has the same aims as that of EEO (Equal Opportunity Employment), but it is different in one aspect: EEO is reactive, whereas affirmative action is proactive. A form of conventional affirmative action involves the reservation of federal procurement dollars from businesses owned by women and minorities. Advances in econometric research has endorsed the efficiency or procurement programs at state, local as well as federal level, which aimed at alleviating the economic status of businesses owned by minorities and women (Bendick, 1998).

Positive and Negative Aspects

Positive Aspects

Reimburses Minorities:

The oppression and slavery of African American and other minority groups has been reported and identified for quite some time now. Earlier, the luxurious lifestyle and benefits were all being enjoyed by the upper-class (usually white) groups, and these minorities worked in inhumane conditions. Affirmative action tries to balance the wrong by compensating their descendants.

Boosts the economic status:

Students belonging to minority groups are although capable of performing as good as students belonging to affluent families, they are often disregarded and undermined. Affirmative action attempts to correct this imbalance.

Increases exposure to diverse range of fields

While women were traditionally considered unfit for technological fields, and men were considered inapt for roles such as that of a nurse, this has changed. Affirmative action programs and legislation is breaking the stereotypes (Crosby et al., 2006).


Negative Aspects

Invalidates Discrimination:

An affirmative action plan, when implemented, stops the unfair treatment that employees receive on the basis of their religion, sex, ethnic origin, nationality, or caste. With the introduction of affirmative action plans, the historical gap that had been created between whites and blacks tends to be replenished. Employees tend to enjoy the benefits which lower their quality of work.

Accessible Accountability Standards:

Employees belonging to minority groups now faced relaxed targets for distinction and recognition. They do not need to go the extra mile in order to compete with ...
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