What is Affirmative Action?

What is affirmative action? According to Axia College, 2007, affirmative action is a policy that goes beyond equal employment opportunities by requiring organizations to comply with the law and correct past discriminatory practices by increasing the number of minorities and women within specific positions. Affirmative action can be achieved when a company follows specific guidelines and goals to ensure that there is balance within the workforce. Affirmative action is looked upon by some as peripheral treatment that needs to be done away with.

With the information above, it has been requested that our company’s board of directors implement affirmative action policies to ensure that all employees are receiving equal treatment within the workplace. While affirmative action will be implemented the company must also be compliant with the Equal Employment Opportunity laws. Equal Employment Opportunity laws prohibit the discrimination based on any individual’s race, religion, sexual orientation, creed, or national origin. Affirmative action plans must consist of an equal opportunity policy statement that can identify problems within the work environment as well as be able to analyze the workforce.

In the pursuit of affirmative action I have listed below supporting recommendations. The board of directors may believe that the information provided can help them in their decision for implementing affirmative action. Affirmative action helps promote racial as well as ethnic diversity within the company. Affirmative action also supports opportunities for any race or ethnic group to acquire higher wages and advancement within the company. Reduction in the tension barriers and encouragement for recruitment can also be illustrated. Affirmative action would be good for the company because it will force use the employer to reach out to diverse groups that normally would not under normal circumstances, be an employee. “Affirmative action is a tool that gives qualified individuals equal access and equal opportunity to contribute. It supports two of our most cherished values, justice for all and equal access to opportunity” (Social Work Talking Points in Affirmative Action, 2008, ¶1).

If the board of directors decide that affirmative action not be implemented this could have a detrimental affect to the company. Not implementing or eliminating affirmative action would halt all progress that the company has made to put an end to discrimination. With that being said some believe that by not having affirmative action employees will lower the standards of their work performance and not achieve top level potential. Some if not all minorities may believe that the company is using affirmative action as a way for them to excel instead of their initial performance. Affirmative action may even be blamed for reverse discrimination. Unprotected members of the company may want to present complaints because of the belief of being treated unfairly.

Equal Employment Opportunity is quite similar to affirmative action. With affirmative action it will allow corrections with past discrimination. Specific goals and guidelines can be implemented to illustrate balance and representation within the workforce (Axia College, 2007). The equal employment opportunity must be in place and an affirmative action commitment be written. Training must be provided to managers and supervisors so a clear understanding for all employee rights is known as well as achievement within the goals that is set by the company. Recruitment, training, promotions, as such, must be open to all employees and not just minorities. No reverse discrimination which is also known as giving preference to specific members will be illustrated (Axia College, 2007).

Affirmative action is controversial to say the least. Affirmative action by some is said to be a double edged sword and must be thought out very carefully before implementing any changes. Affirmative action is not only controversial but emotional because of the affects on all people no matter race, gender, or ethnicity. For those reasons many people believe that affirmative action needs to be done away with. Some thoughts are that non-minorities or whites are suffering as a result of affirmative action. Throughout the United States there has always been controversial issues related to this topic within any private or public sector. If handled correctly, affirmative action can make everyone including non-minorities feel equal.