Legal and Regulatory Environment of Human Resources

Topics: Discrimination, Affirmative action, Racism Pages: 3 (912 words) Published: November 5, 2010
Legal and Regulatory Environment of Human Resources

Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is defined as positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been excluded. Affirmative action refers to policies that take race, gender, or ethnicity into account in an attempt to promote equal opportunity. It is supposed to maximize diversity in all levels of society and to redress disadvantages due to voluntary discrimination.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was put in place so minorities would have a chance to get good jobs, housing, and a good education. This Act states that employers cannot discriminate against any American based on their race, color, gender, religion, and national origin. Employers put into effect Affirmative Action Plans in which they state that they will hire minorities to fill certain positions within their company. These plans are not to be confused with quotas because this is not saying that they will only hire a certain number of minorities but that they will encourage minorities to apply to fill empty positions that are available. People that oppose affirmative action say that it devalues the accomplishments of people because of being a minority instead of being chosen for their qualifications. Society thinks that affirmative action is not needed because it has undesirable side-effects because it replaces old wrongs with new ones, it hinders reconciliation, and it undermines the achievements of minorities, and encourages individuals to claim that they are disadvantaged even when they are not. They think it increases racial tension between races because it promotes a society where people are judged on their skin color and not by their abilities. The NAACP thinks that affirmative action is needed because discrimination still exists in society and without it many people will be barred from institutes of higher learning and successful...
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