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Do You Think That It Is Morally Acceptable To Have Preferential Treatment Programs For Disabled Veterans?

951 words - 4 pages

Yes, it is morally acceptable to have preferential treatment programs for disabled veterans. Nothing contained in this title shall be interpreted to require any employer . . . to grant preferential treatment to any individual or to any group because of the race, color, religion, sex or national origin of such individual or group on account of an imbalance which may exist with respect to the total number or percentage of persons of any race, color, religion, sex or national origin employed by an employer.In the Weber decision, the court majority got around the precise antipreference wording of Title VII by saying that the language did not explicitly forbid such practices and that the overall spirit of the Civil Rights Act was congruent with voluntary preference programs. In a sharp dissent, Justice William Rehnquist termed such thinking "Orwellian."Two cases taken up by the Supreme Court in the mid- 1980s involved the issue of seniority versus affirmative action during lay-offs. The question in such cases as Memphis Firefighters v. Stotts (1984) and Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education (1986) was whether minorities recently hired under affirmative action plans should be laid off before whites with more senority. In these cases, the court held that, since no minority individuals could prove that they were individual victims of past discrimination by the municipal entities involved, then the seniority systems could take precedence over affirmative action programs. Whites with more seniority could not be laid off in favor of minorities with less seniority.In Local 93 of the International Association of Firefighters v. City of Cleveland (1986) and Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Workers v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (1986), the Court approved one agreement and one court order (respectively) to settle discrimination lawsuits that involved preferential hiring or promotion of minority groups.In all of the above cases, the Court was narrowly divided in 5-4 or 6-3 decisions. The decisions were also closely reasoned on a case-by-case basis. General legal principles had to be extracted carefully.Another closely divided decision, but one which some legal scholars have argued can be interpreted broadly, was Johnson v. Transportation Department of Santa Clara (1987). The case involved preferential treatment in promotions and the use of statistical workforce data as justification for affirmative action programs. Diane Joyce and Paul Johnson were competing for the position of road dispatcher with the Department of Transportation, County of Santa Clara, California. Johnson had more seniority and scored slightly better on the oral part of the exam: Johnson obtained a 75, while Joyce obtained a 73. The local supervisor chose Johnson, but he was overruled by superiors who were more mindful of the county affirmative action plan, which was designed to achieve goals of proportional representation of women and minorities in the county workforce as compared with...

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