The Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation and the United Steelworkers of America entered into an agreement to reserve 50% of the openings in an in plant craft training program for African Americans (Byars & Rue, 2008). Brian F. Weber was a white male who wanted to enter this program but was denied. Weber claimed he was discriminated against due to the fact that African American employees were accepted into a training program over senior white employees. Mr. Weber had seniority over the black workers that were being admitted into a training program. He claimed discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1965. Before this program was established Kaiser only hired craft workers with prior experience, these workers were mostly white. The necessary training was usually only available through craft unions which at that time excluded blacks (Lempert, 1984).
* Court’s ruling
The Court ruled that Kaiser’s affirmative action plan was acceptable because it “was designed to break down old patterns of segregation” (Byars & Rue, 2008, p. 33). At the time of this landmark case the legacy of slavery could still be felt by many African Americans. “The proportionate underrepresentation of black people in positions of power and privilege may plausibly be traced to this legacy” (Lempert, 1984, p. 86). This caused some Kaiser to create arrangements to repair the imbalance of African American workers in the workforce. Secondly, the court ruled that the affirmative action plan “did not involve the discharge of innocent third parties” (Byars & Rue, 2008, p. 33). Kaiser did not have to release or lay-off any current employees in order to place African Americans in the training program and openings. Also the affirmative action plan “did not have any barriers to the advancement of white employees” (Byars & Rue, 2008, p. 33). The white employees were still able to participate in the program with an equal representation of...
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