Differences Between Equal Employment Opportunity Initiatives, Affirmative Action Initiatives and Diversity Initiatives in Organizations

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(Wisconsin Work Force Planning)
Differences between Equal Employment Opportunity initiatives, Affirmative Action initiatives and Diversity initiatives in organizations
Tim Piper
Issues in Human Resources Management – MBA 910
February 14, 2012

To best understand how affirmative action (AA), equal employment opportunity (EEO) and diversity work together, I will take a look at each of them and how they interact with each other and also explore the differences of the three initiatives .

First Equal employment opportunity is the policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of color, race, creed, religion, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, arrest or conviction record, disability, ancestry, marital status, political affiliation, or membership in the National Guard to allow all individuals access to the benefits and privileges of the workplace. In short, this means that everyone has an equal opportunity in employment based on his/her qualifications. Both federal and state legislation have provided that no one can be discriminated against based on their protective class. Not entirely true! ‘Federal law’ does not protect sexual orientation. It applies to all areas of employment, from interviewing to termination, known as employment protection policies. EEO laws were initially put in to help minorities, women and people with disabilities to have equal access to the benefits and privileges of employment based solely on their qualifications and that they could not be discriminated based upon the items listed above. Any suspected violations would be referred to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity commission (EEOC) or brought up in a private lawsuit.

While EEO laws were developed to “make everyone equal”, years of discrimination and unfair treatment would not end just because of a law being passed. Affirmative action was developed to take extra steps to correct the effects of past unequal treatment. It meant going beyond just complying with...
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