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Questions about Affirmative Action Law

What is affirmative action?

Affirmative action is a policy or program that has been constituted to combat prejudice and bias in society. Through certain processes and laws, the government favors the minority or deprived sections of society. Racial groups (African American or American Indian) and sex (women) are usually the two common groups which receive these benefits but affirmative action includes many other categories as well. The basis behind such a law is to minimize past mistakes and build a culture of equality. For example: As per statistical figures, due to the existence of racism, there are fewer African American lawyers in society. The affirmative action policy on this would be to provide reservations for African Americans and lower their entrance requirements. This would ensure there are more African American lawyers, thereby increasing their representational number and leading to higher acceptance by others in the same field.

Listed below are a few questions answered by the Lawyers on issues related to affirmative action.

What is the main similarity and difference between affirmative action for minorities and the Disabled Veterans Affirmative Action Program (DVAAP)?

To begin with, the main similarity between the two is both give hiring preference to a closed or select group of people. The main difference is that affirmative action for minorities or women, benefits people based on what they are born into or born as—a particular race or gender respectively. An individual from a particular race or gender may receive lesser opportunities on an average and special privileges are offered to each individual within these groups irrespective of whether they need or deserve it. Additionally most employers are required to remain neutral because of the laws surrounding cases of race and sex discrimination. The DVAAP, on the other hand, grants preference to people based on their specific background and experience. Individuals qualify based on their seniority and disability. The justification of granting privileges to this section is that these people have made worthy sacrifices for their country.

Why is the concept of affirmative action criticized by some people? What is the advantage and disadvantage of eliminating affirmative action law?

The concept of affirmative action is subject to criticism because decisions are not made on merit or the capabilities of a person. Instead factors which are usually immaterial such as race, gender and so on are highlighted and benefits are provided based on this. The advantage of abolishing affirmative action could lead to decisions based on merit and ability rather than uncontrollable, irrelevant factors of race and gender. The disadvantage, however, could be that these races or genders are a minority and their pace of growth could be relatively low and discrimination against them could continue.

What effect or impact does affirmative action have on employees and a workplace?

The goal of affirmative action is to seek equal treatment and facilitate a level playing field among individuals belonging to a minority group, especially in obtaining jobs and other opportunities. While doing so, a quota system or reverse discrimination may be triggered where other employees could feel their skill and hard work is not being considered or rewarded. And people are being hired instead based on their race and gender. This could then escalate into workplace conflicts and demoralized employees.

I am 59 years old, suffer from arthritis and need to perform strenuous work which the doctor has asked me to avoid. There are other employees who can substitute me but my employers are unwilling to do so. I feel I am being discriminated, what are my options?

As per the Fair Employment and Housing Act, your employer is liable to provide reasonable accommodation for your disability so you can perform the essential duties of your job. A reasonable accommodation limits the number of times you need to perform a particular duty and ensures other employees are required to complete tasks which you are unable to do because of the disability. After informing your employer of your concerns, if your employer still does not concede, a claim file of discrimination can be filed with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. A complaint can be filed online as well using the following link: http://dfeh.ca.gov/Complaints_eCompProc.htm

Should an employer attach an affirmative action form along with the employment application? Should there be an option to decline as well?

In most cases the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) or affirmative action section is separate from the rest of the applicant’s information. This is done to avoid any complications or accusations of discrimination. If all the information is together, the applicant may argue that since the employer was aware of the EEO information, it could have been the reason for rejection. Even if there is an option to decline providing such information, it could be a potential route to receive complaints.

Affirmative action has its advantages as well as disadvantages. It is a controversial topic because some feel it is a form of racism as it focuses on preferences based solely on race rather than skill or merit. Usually democrats, who are more liberal, are in favor of this and most republicans, conservative by nature, are against it. Nonetheless, this action would benefit some while it may deny others. To know more about affirmative action and its implications, whether you are applying to universities or for jobs, consulting Experts could be helpful.

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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 8603
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
4460311
Type Your Legal Question Here...
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How JustAnswer Works:

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Recent Affirmative Action Questions

  • Can a Condominium Board stop access to a common element such

    Can a Condominium Board stop access to a common element such as the small kitchen in our card/meeting room?
    It has one refrigerator and a sink which has always been open for use such as keeping a cold drink or leftovers for one to maybe 3 hours. Board locks kitchen and residents cannot have access for any reason now other than a large gathering after paying $200 for use of room. It is a common element, and they took out the stove that has been there for years even though the fire marshal said it was not a hazard. There have been no thefts since there is nothing to take other than frig and sink. They are angry with me and know I use the refrigerator for an hour or two once in a while and for the second time locked it permanently. Keys cannot be obtained after 4:30 or on week-ends and they will not give keys to any security so there is no access.
    My understanding from the Ombudsman a few months ago is that they cannot lock residents out of a common element. Now the local Ombudsman who is friendly with our Board president (Board runs the condo since firing manager) now says I have to file an arbitration suit. The last time after I wrote to the Board telling them what the Ombudsman said about locking residents out of a common element they reopened the kitchen.
    Wendy Stone
    *****@******.***
  • Hello, I dont know if i have a case but, when I married 13

    Hello,
    I don't know if i have a case but, when I married 13 years ago my husband and I retained separate attorneys and drafted a pre-nuptial agreement. I had two daughters and had been widowed for 9 years at that time. My deceased husband left me in a fix, lost my home, but I still had an insurance policy with which to raise my two young daughters. At the time of my marriage they were ages 12 and 9. My now husband was never married nor had children, he was a physician and had no financial obligations at the age of 46. He needed protection as did I for myself and daughters. After our marriage, my oldest daughter then in high school started a college search, I found out that due to the fact that her step father had earned so much money over his years of practicing medicine. My husband was not going to be responsible for paying for my daughters schooling, as a result of not qualifying for financial aid, I had to fork out my entire savings for my daughters to attend college. Columbia University! Do I have any recourse, my attorney never addressed this issue and I feel as though I was poorly advised.
  • For William B. Esq. only: what is required to certify a document

    For William B. Esq. only: what is required to certify a document you attach to an affidavit? is saying that the attached is a true and accurate copy or something enough?
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