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Affirmative Action


Affirmative Action Presented By: Aldo Cantellano, Chris Handrahan, Elliot Lauber, Jon Lyga Provided to the Pompton Lakes Public School Staff Inservice Day – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action
  • Presented By
  • Aldo Cantellano, Chris Handrahan,
  • Elliot Lauber, Jon Lyga
  • Provided to the Pompton Lakes Public School Staff
    Inservice Day

Objectives of Presentation
  • To understand the definition of affirmative
  • The history of affirmative action,
  • Arguments for affirmative action,
  • Arguments against affirmative action,
  • A Famous Quotation often misinterpreted,
  • Federal State Laws

Definition of Affirmative Action
  • A policy or a program that seeks to redress past
    discrimination through active measures to ensure
    equal opportunity, as in education and
  • Source

Timeline of Affirmative Action Events
  • March 6th 1961 Executive Order 10925
  • John F. Kennedy issued the first executive order,
    which makes reference to affirmative action.
  • Created the Committee on Equal Employment
    Opportunity, which says that any projects
    financed with federal funds take affirmative
    action to ensure that hiring and employment
    actions are free from racial bias.

Timeline continued
  • July 2nd 1964 Civil Rights Act
  • Prohibits discrimination based on race, color,
    religion, or national origin.
  • Signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson

Timeline continued
  • September 24th 1965 Executive Order 11246
  • Requires government contractors to consider
    perspective minority employees while hiring for
  • This order also requires documentation of these
  • On October 13th 1967, this order was amended to
    include gender discrimination.

Timeline continued
  • June 28th 1978 Regents of the University of
    California vs. Bakke
  • A Supreme Court decision that set a precedent
    that affirmative action should not lead to
    reverse discrimination.
  • A majority group will not be discriminated due to
    providing greater opportunities to minorities.

Timeline continued
  • February 25th 1987 United States vs. Paradise
  • A federal court found that the State of Alabama
    Department of Public Safety systematically
    discriminated against blacks in their hiring
  • In 37 years, the department never hired a black
  • The court ruled for every white hired or
    promoted, one black should also be hired or
    promoted until at least 25 of the upper ranks of
    the department were composed of blacks.

Timeline continued
  • November 3rd 1997 Proposition 209 (California)
  • The state shall not discriminate against, or
    grant preferential treatment to, any individual
    or group on the basis of race, sex, color,
    ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of
    public employment, public education, or public

Timeline continued
  • December 13th 2000 University of Michigan
    affirmative action policy upheld
  • In Gratz vs. Bollinger, a federal judge ruled
    using race as a factor in admissions was
  • The University of Michigans argument was that by
    providing minorities with preferences, it
    enhanced the universitys diversity and student

Arguments For Affirmative Action
  • There has been discrimination in the past and
    affirmative action levels the playing field
  • Affirmative action would increase minority
    representation in the workforce

Pros for Affirmative Action cont
  • Past discrimination has created an unequal
    society. Therefore, some minority classes have
    less income and fewer opportunities. Affirmative
    action would increase the number of opportunities
    available for minorities.
  • Discrimination still exists! Our society is not
    yet totally colorblind.

Pros of Affirmative Action cont
  • Hiring different cultures would contribute to a
    diverse workforce
  • Example Hiring a black police officer in a black
    neighborhood would be a great idea. Since the
    much of the population is black, a black officer
    would be able to easily relate to a black
  • Wouldnt a black teen feel more comfortable
    talking to a black police officer?
  • A diverse University would help students better
    learn by exposing them to different cultures and

Arguments Against Affirmative Action
  • Opponents of affirmative action say that
    affirmative action and its preferences have
    become a crippling crutch
  • Some minorities may try to take advantage of
    their minority status. They may obtain a job,
    but not have the ability to do the job as well as
    a non-minority would because of affirmative

Cons of Affirmative Action cont
  • There is often a social stigma attached to
    affirmative action.
  • Non-minorities may think a minority was hired
    just because the color of their skin or their
  • Affirmative action leads to increased color
    consciousness and racial hostility between
  • Affirmative action may create tension in the
    workplace and people may not be judged on merit.

Cons of Affirmative Action cont
  • Affirmative action and its race and gender
    classifications can harm those they intended to
    help by stigmatizing them, destroying their
    self-confidence while leading everyone to believe
    they cannot compete on their own merit.

Cons of Affirmative Action cont
  • The best, or most qualified person may not obtain
    a job, admission into a university, etc. because
    of affirmative action.
  • Therefore, someone may score higher on an ACT or
    SAT test, but still lose admission to a higher
    education school of their choice because of
    affirmative action policies.

Cons of Affirmative Action cont
  • Some people argue that affirmative action may not
    be necessary because the trajectory of U.S.
    history shows that previously excluded persons
    are being increasingly included, so
    discrimination is not enough to require policies
    such as affirmative action, which have serious
    side effects.

What Do You Think?
  • Are there any arguments for or against
    affirmative action that you feel were left out?
  • Are there side effects to affirmative action
  • If you have an argument for, or against,
    affirmative action please feel free to share your

An extremely famous quotation
  • I look to a day when people will not be judged
    by the color of their skin, but by the content of
    their character.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The King also states in some of his other
  • Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can
    be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change
    the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.
    The law cannot make an employer love an employee,
    but it can prevent him from refusing to hire me
    because of the color of my skin.

King Quotes cont
  • A society that has done something special
    against the Negro for hundreds of years must now
    do something for the Negro
  • Whenever the issue of compensatory treatment for
    the Negro is raised, some of our friends recoil
    in horror. The Negro should be granted equality,
    they agree but he should ask for nothing more.
    On the surface this appears reasonable, but it is
    not realistic.

What Do you Think?
  • After reading these quotes how would you
    interpret Martin Luther King Jr.s I have a
    Dream speech?
  • Does he oppose affirmative action?
  • Is affirmative action necessary?
  • What is your opinion?

Federal and State Laws and Policies
  • Employment at Will
  • In Wisconsin, an employer may discharge an
    employee for good reason, no reason, or even a
    reason that is morally wrong, without committing
    a legal wrong.

Federal and State Laws Policies
  • Employment at Will
  • Applies when there is no collective bargaining
  • No individual employee contract
  • No public policy exemption to the rule
  • Example Does not break a law
  • No legal or discriminatory reason

1964 Civil Rights Act
  • Forbids discrimination in all acts of employment
    on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or
    national origin.
  • The law states, It shall be an unlawful
    employment practice for an employer to hire or
    discharge any individual with respect to his
    compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of
    employment because of an individuals race, color,
    religion, sex, or national origin.
  • Note This federal law only applies to employers
    with 15 or more employees.

Disparate treatment or intentional discriminati
on must be established by the employee.
Employees have to prove several things
  • -The employee has to be a member of a protected
  • -The employee must demonstrate that he or she is
    qualified for the job.
  • -They must also show job rejection, and that
    their employer continued to seek applications
    from others.

Age Discrimination (1967)
  • The Age Discrimination Employment Act promotes
    the retention of older employees on their
    ability, rather than their age. It begins at the
    age of 40.
  • For example Someone cannot be forced into
    retirement because of old age or require an older
    employee to pass a physical exam that is not
    related to the job.
  • Note This law only applies to organizations with
    20 or more employees.

Exceptions to Age Discrimination
  • There can be many defenses to an age
    discrimination suit. There are mandatory
    retirement policies for police, prison guards,
    and firefighters.
  • Please note
  • Seniority layoffs do not violate the law.
  • Voluntary early retirement programs are legal

Religion or Creed Discrimination
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states
    an employer must reasonably accommodate the
    religious practices of their employees unless
    this would create an undue hardship.
  • For example It may be an undue hardship for a
    Bar, which is very busy on weekends, to hire
    someone whos religion does not allow them to
    work on weekends.

Same Religion Exemption
  • It is not employment discrimination because of
    creed for a religious organization to give
    preference to an applicant or employee who is a
    member of the same or similar religious
  • Example Marquette University (Catholic) may
    give preference to hire teachers who are Catholic.

Some Defenses to Claims of Illegal Discrimination
  • Business Necessity
  • -A certain level of experience or skill may be
    necessary for some jobs.
  • -Education achievement may be necessary for
    some jobs
  • -If tests are given, they must relate to the job.
  • Example A janitor should not be required to pass
    a physics test as a condition of employment.

Defenses cont
  • Bona Fide Seniority
  • A layoff based on seniority could be a legitimate
  • Also when considering layoffs, recall,
    promotions, sick leave, and vacation time,
    seniority may be considered.

Defenses cont
  • Bona Fide Occupational Qualification
  • Certain genders may be better qualified for
    certain jobs.
  • Example This defense would allow a movie
    producer to hire a male to play the part of the
    leading man in an upcoming movie.
  • Example This defense would also allow a female
    topless bar to solicit applications from only

  • Our group felt that we needed to provide
    information on state and federal laws regarding
    affirmative action. None of the members of our
    group are lawyers so we do not wish to be
    responsible for any information that may be
    incorrect. However, we feel the information we
    provided is accurate and will help you better
    understand some of the legal aspects associated
    with affirmative action policies.

In Conclusion
  • This presentation is not an argument for or
    against affirmative action. Our hope is to make
    you aware, as future managers and supervisors,
    the issues and legislations surrounding the
    issue. The best way to deal with a potential
    issue is to first be educated about it!

PLPS AA Policies
PLPS AA Policies
PLPS AA Policies
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