The paper will also investigate what employers are subject to an affirmative action plan, how the affirmative action plan affects the employer, and the repercussions if the employer fails to meet or comply with the affirmative action plan goals. Affirmative Action Relation to Private and Public Sector Employees The intentions of affirmative action plans are to organization the behavior confidently of both the public and private sector employees. Several laws only pertain to private employers, whereas several others only pertain to employment agencies, public sector employees, and educational institutions.
The laws take into consideration the number of employees working at an organization as well as the number of employees in each of the organization’s locations. Organizations should make a conscious decision to prevent discrimination ethically throughout the workplace. “An affirmative action plan (AAP) consists of statistical analysis of the employer’s under utilization of individuals from certain protected classes and includes the steps that will be taken to improve their representation in the employer’s workforce” (Personnel Policy Service, 2012, p. 1).
Affirmative action plans are either by court order or voluntary; but the purpose of affirmative action plans are to give minorities the opportunity to not experience discriminations, which took place in the past. Title VII Discrimination Preventions Title VII makes it illegal for discrimination to take place within the workplace. However, historically discrimination has influenced numerous industries in creating a unintentional discrepancy in the employees of minority. In these circumstances, the affirmative action plans are a tool to balance industry’s that have experienced historical imbalances.
This takes place through encouraging employers to demonstrate a preference to employees of minority with equal qualifications until the industry achieves a balance. Organizations that do not adhere to the guidelines may force the organization to implement an affirmative action plan from a court order. If the organization does not correct the imbalance, the organization can be put on trial for breaking the Title VII statutes. “Many, mistakenly, think affirmative action is law that takes qualified whites or males out of their jobs.
Giving the jobs to unqualified minorities or females, or that affirmative action is an entitlement program that provides unqualified women or minorities with jobs. At the same time shutting out qualified Whites or males, or both from the workplace” (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2007, p. 181). The actuality is affirmative action plans aid minorities and women with giving opportunities for those individuals to work in numerous fields that have been historically dominating with White males. For example, historically White males have held dominance over the legal profession.
Because of this historical dominance, affirmative action plans target educational institutions teaching law through admissions, and practicing legal firms through the promotion and hiring processes to balance the women and minorities with the legal profession. Requirements for Complying with Title VII Public employers who must comply with affirmative action fall under one of three categories. 1. “A Prime Contractor/subcontractor with 50 plus employees AND $50,000 plus in contract revenue during any 12-month period. 2. A depository of government funds in any amount. 3.
An issuing or paying agent for U. S. savings bond and saving notes” (Truesdell, 2010, p. 32). Many organizations comply with Title VII requirements and affirmative action programs through mandatory participation, in an effort to avoid discrimination and voluntarily. “Federal laws such as Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to private employers, employment agencies, educational institutions, and state and local governments with at least 15 employees. Other federal laws, like the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, apply to private employers with at least 20 employees.
The federal Equal Pay Act applies to all employers who are subject to the federal Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA). And the FLSA applies to almost all employers” (Gross, 2005, p. 1). Justifiably, smaller organizations may find difficulty in providing evidence that the organization did not participate in discrimination because the percentage of employees often distorts by the small size of the organization. Because of this distortion, numerous laws concerning discrimination in the hiring process do not include small organizations. However, state governments have set regulations and guidelines for every organization of every size.
Despite the organization’s size, it will find it beneficial to avoid the perception of discrimination during the hiring, termination, and promotion processes within an organization. The Consequences for Noncompliance of an Affirmative Action Plan “Some employers adopt voluntary affirmative action programs in order to remedy past adverse impact against particular protected classes. For example, an employer may implement a plan to encourage women to apply for a job category traditionally dominated by men” (Personnel Policy Service, 2012, p. 1).
Affirmative action plans hold temporary aspects within an organization, dissolving the plan after the achievement of goals are met. However, the organization creates a new affirmative action plan to ensure the continuance of meeting the goals and maintaining a balance throughout the organization. Courts ordering affirmative action plans have requirements preventing organizations from becoming problematic for third parties and from allocating unqualified employees into promoted positions or hiring unqualified employees to ‘quickly’ fix and incorrectly balance the organization’s affirmative action plan.
If the organization continues to hire and promote minorities at a balancing rate after the implementation of a court order affirmative action plan with success, the organization is risking a reverse discrimination allegation if it does not continue to maintain an affirmative action plan. When organizations fail to meet the terms of a court order affirmative action plan, the organization receives a penalization for noncompliance. “The Secretary of labor or the appropriate contracting agency can impose on the employer a number of penalties for non-compliance” (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2007, p. 91). Such penalties include recommendation(s) to pursue criminal proceedings, or termination of contract(s) if the organization is profiting from a contract with the government. However, in the private sector if an employee believes he or she has experienced discrimination on a personal level, he or she has the right to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The employee can request punitive damages and compensatory damages at the time of filing the claim. Conclusion
The design of affirmative action plans were to eliminate the historic negative effects from discrimination, some individuals believe these plans support reverse discrimination. Numerous occupations, such as lawyers, have historically only given White males the opportunity to participate in the occupation. Other numerous industries, such as the medical field have a history of paying female and minority employees a lower wage. An affirmative action plan works on various levels, creating equality for everyone.
Educational institutions teaching law or medical practices must accept qualified minorities and women to aid in balancing the discrepancies of the past. Every discrimination law applies to educational institutions, private sector employers, employment agencies, and public sector employers as well as employees. Many of the federal laws apply to organizations with 50 or more employees and are contracting work with the government in excess of $50,000. These types of contracts create a mandatory requirement to implement an affirmative action plan or risk consequences.
So far small organizations are exempt unless the organization voluntarily opts to implement an affirmative action plan. Regardless of possible consequences an organization should implement an affirmative action plan to combat the historic discriminations and encourage diversity within the workplace. Reference Bennett-Alexander, D. D. , & Hartman, L. P. (2007). Employment law for business, (5th ed. ). New York: McGraw-Hill Companies. Gross, B. (2005, November 17). What federal, state, or local laws apply to your employees.