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Affirmative Action History Essay

1049 words - 4 pages

Affirmative Action is a phrase heard in the public and private business sectors, however, is poorly understood as to exactly what these two words entail. Affirmative denotes a positive or confirming aspect to a situation and action represents an achievement or accomplishment (Answers.com, 2008). This paper will describe a brief history of Affirmative Action and its elements as it applies to public sector and private sector employees, as well as interactions with Title VII requirements of Equal Employment Opportunity. Several factors that will be addressed will be: what employers are subject to affirmative action plans and why, what the plans require employers to do, and what happens if employers do not meet the goals of the affirmative action plan.Bennett-Alexander and Hartman describe Affirmative Action in their book Employment Law, as the "intentional inclusion of women and minorities in the workplace based on a finding of their previous exclusion". The policy focused on equality in educational and employment opportunities for minorities. Many people associate Affirmative action as being under Title VII; however, affirmative action is actually a requirement imposed by Executive Order 11246 (Sykes, M, 2008).Initially introducing the concept of affirmative action was President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 when he signed order 8802 outlawing segregation type hiring practices. This order went through several revisions, and a few Presidents, until President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the current version, Executive Order 11246, into law in 1965. In 1967, President Johnson added women to the list of minorities to benefit from Affirmative Action.The guiding principle in Affirmative action is that employers, school officials, and lawmakers take effective steps to ensure that minorities are afforded equal opportunities for such things as promotions, equal salaries, education, scholarships, and financial aid, which was previously exclusive to white males. Up to this point, minorities such as blacks and Hispanics were positioned to take low wage jobs and did not receive the same treatment as white employees. Politicians wanted a policy in place to act as a provisional problem solver until such time when all Americans, regardless of race, color, or gender would enjoy equal opportunities (U-S-History.com, 2008).Affirmative action does not stand-alone, just before President Johnson signed this order Title VII came into effect. Although Title VII assists through prohibiting discrimination in employment, it does not enforce affirmative obligations of the employer. Affirmative action pushed employers to show compliance of non-discrimination by revealing that they had a plan in place to hire minority individuals (Bennett-Alexander, D, & Hartman, L, 2007).Equal employment opportunity laws like Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act do not obligate employers to produce written affirmative action plans. However, with Affirmative action, certain...

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