How Does Affirmative Action Impact Workplace Discrimination?

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How Does Affirmative Action Impact Workplace Discrimination?

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In 1961 United States President John F. Kennedy implored people to take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity to all people regardless of characteristics such as their gender or the color of their skin. Affirmative action as we now know it is a federally backed program intended to foster diversity and inclusion as well as increase opportunities for people of all different backgrounds. If you feel that you have been discriminated against or your rights have been violated in the workplace, contact an Atlanta employment discrimination attorney to discuss your legal options.

What is Affirmative Action?

Affirmative action is a set of policies and procedures that has been developed to eliminate discrimination in general, but specifically in college admissions, housing, financing, and workplaces. Its goal is to contribute to diversity in certain sectors of our society and ensure equal opportunity for applicants and employees regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, disability, national origin, or veteran status.

How Can Businesses Implement Affirmative Action?

Businesses will abide by affirmative action and implement it in their workforce by employing an affirmative action plan (AAP). An AAP is a program written by an employer to explain the steps they will or are taking to ensure that no one is discriminated against or has their rights violated in the workplace based on the above statuses. The AAP’s objective is to detail the ways in which a business will increase diversity in roles and positions of authority, identify and correct discriminatory practices, encourage people to take accountability, and provide training and open conversations about fair employment practices. It will not be an overnight change, but something that a company will work hard towards to better their business and our society.

How Will Workplace Discrimination Be Impacted?

Any contractor, subcontractor, or financial institution that works with the federal government will have to abide by affirmative action, which is more than one-fifth of the United States workforce. Private companies are welcome to adopt an AAP though it is not required by law.

Policies associated with affirmative action can include businesses implementing hiring quotas, providing assistance for gender representation or people with disabilities, or providing grants or scholarships. Implementing these changes will provide opportunities for people who may be at a disadvantage historically and increase diversity. Diversity in the workplace is vital to bring different perspectives and opinions and increase productivity and efficiency. In addition to an AAP resulting in less discrimination in hiring and promoting processes, experiencing new cultures and perspectives can change individuals who have prejudices that they may have not even realized.

Affirmative action is important to protect applicants and employees and emphasize equality and respect for all. This program recognizes the fact that discrimination was all too common in the past and is making an active effort to rectify those issues. No one should live in fear of discrimination or harassment.

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