The Need for Equal Employment Opportunity Laws and Affirmative Action

Order Details;

Discussion Question VII: The Need for Equal Employment Opportunity Laws and

Affirmative Action

We are about to begin our study of Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative

Action and Diversity. DQ VII is directed to the historical, social and societal needs for

each of these laws and programs.

Equal Employment Opportunity Laws are a group of Federal Laws that define and

prohibit discrimination in all aspects of employment on the basis “sex, national

origin, race, religion, color, age, & disability”. Modern EEO laws initially began in the

1960’s (e.g. Equal Pay Act (1963); Civil Rights Act, (1964); Age Discrimination in

Employment Act (1967) etc.) and 1970’s, and have continued to be refined and

extended in a number of ways. EEO law prohibits discrimination in all aspects of

employment (e.g. recruiting; selection; job placement; training; compensation;

benefits; performance management; retirement; etc.) again on the basis of above

noted characteristics.

Affirmative Action is an Executive order of the President (beginning with Presidents

Johnson & Nixon, and continued by all subsequent Presidents to date). This

Executive Order applies to the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, and

Organizations that do business with (e.g. Defense contractors such as Boeing), or

accept Federal funds from the US Government (e.g. Purdue University). Affirmative

Action requires that organizations examine the utilization of women and minorities

throughout all occupations in the organization, and then set goals (not quotas) and

timetables for increased utilization of those groups over time.

Finally, Diversity programs are voluntary programs that many organizations adopt

in order to increase understanding and acceptance of our many individual

differences (including, but not limited to sex, race, etc.). When well designed and

executed, Diversity programs help people work together and perform more

effectively in the organization.

Why do we have EEO laws? Why do we have Affirmative Action (in employment)

programs? Using 1960 as the beginning of the modern Civil Rights in employment

era, use the web and other sources of information to find the most important

reasons why the US needed EEO and Affirmative Action programs.

1) What were the social and legal conditions in employment, voting, housing,

lending, education, etc. that necessitated these laws and programs?

2) What social and political unrest pressured the US government (Congress,

President, Federal Courts) to adopt and implement these laws?

3) What would the results have most likely been if EEO laws and Affirmative

Action Programs had not been developed and implemented?

There is a great deal that has been written on this subject. I do not expect people to

be exhaustive on this topic. Rather find the highlights and most significant reasons

for the dramatic changes that occurred. Two to three typed (double space 12 font)

should be sufficient. We will begin class next Thursday with discussion of what you

have discovered.

Notes and Options:

1) If you are not from the US, and are not especially interested in US History,

you may adapt this DQ to the existence of employment discrimination and

legal remedies in your native country. If you choose to do this, please note

your country clearly in the title. Just as with the issues in the US, I do not

expect you to be exhaustive, but rather provide an overview of the most

significant issues, and how your country has or is dealing with them.