Affirmative action can defined as the policies that take into account race, color, religion, culture and gender in promotion of equal opportunities (Paula and Maddox, West’s Encyclopedia of American law).It aims at providing balanced vacancies in terms of education and employment. It ensures that every person has access to self-development or people with same abilities should have equal opportunities.
Programs based on affirmative action differ widely in their mode of application. Some are instituted on hiring processes on gender, for example, hiring women rather than men, minorities and other affected groups in the society. In the case of affected groups, some qualification might be set aside in their preference.
Affirmative action has affected small organizations such that it prevents them from discrimination on basis of nationality, religion, capabilities and many more of which it could suit their preference in matters of retrenching, training, hiring among many others (Mills 45). Again the government might discriminate them in matters of assigning contracts since it can prefer an organization which is minority based.
Since the interpretation of affirmative action evolved, some organizations which were not even based on discrimination but rather out of being disparate were termed as breaking the affirmative action laws. Again there were questions how the members of groups which were affected could get some favored treatment and the means of their preference to reach the right decision.
The roots of affirmative action are based back in history on civil rights which prohibited discrimination on voting rights, education, and employment among others.
Therefore, employees were to be treated regardless of their creed, color or nationality. The laws on affirmative action in most cases do not design the penalties on the employers who violate them but rather focus on how the discriminated employees can be retained in their positions as if there were no discrimination at all. Therefore a mode of reconciliation has to be formed which should involve department of labor, facilitators between employers and legal for plaintiffs to raise their grievances.
Structural discrimination is also in question whether it violates the bases of balanced opportunities. In this case it happens when one had no intentions of discrimination. Should the legal guidelines affect the employer in this kind of situation? The interpretations of discrimination mean more and can be better based on matters of equality.
The action of affirmative action has to be based on specified targets for better evaluation. It can be assumed that without discrimination, the proportions of men and women should be equal but in reality results oriented goals satisfies the bases under which employment opportunities should be offered. In some cases, an employer may prefer employees with certain education qualification, there could by default the qualification befits some gender. This cannot be a case of discrimination but rather a job necessity.
In history affirmative action could dictate that some percentage vacancies to be reserved for the minority, for instance a university could enroll a certain number of minorities with some lower qualifications. Even if someone else was qualified he or she could not get the position from those reserved.
These kinds of opportunities are minimal today. In 1990’s campaign, President Bush stressed that equal opportunity should not be distorted by quotas which were based on gender, culture or race rather to be based on how able a person is and the qualifications (Paula and Maddox, West’s Encyclopedia of American law).
These became the principles of education opportunities an hiring processes and brought decline in application of affirmative action guiding principle. Also the rulings in law courts have no supportive evidences based on discrimination and therefore affirmative action tends to take no control on the part of the plaintiffs. It can be argued that, the cases of disparate employments are related to the jobs and also in consistent with necessity in the field for which is true and cannot be ruled out in a court of law.
Affirmative action can also be argued as reversed discrimination in that by favoring may be women in job opportunities it discriminates men who might have better qualification to fit in those position (Bateman 88). It can be ruled out to be of no importance since it has negative implication. Everyone has an opportunity to own property and by no means can affirmative action deliberate on this issue.
It is evident that in the modern society affirmative action is quite outlived. The world of economy holds for everyone without consideration of the facts based on affirmative action. The issue can be traced from the academic institutions to the workplaces. The academic institutions no longer reserve vacancies for minorities.
Rather, one has to attain qualification to be in a certain career. The impact of this is extended in the work places where one has to be qualified on the basis of job requirements. Therefore employers consider those qualifications regardless of any favor in gender preference. Again as it was in history employees in workplaces are treated on equal basis. Regulations to restrict firms on their recruitment methods are not ruled out and they can do it in their own choice. Certainly, affirmative action has lost its contribution in those organizations.
Bateman, Thomas and Snell Scott. Management: Leading and Collaborating In the Competitive World, 8th Edition.McGrayhill Higher Education, (2008)
Conrad, Paula J. and Robert B. Maddox. Guide to Affirmative Action. Crisp, (1997).
“Affirmative action” West’s Encyclopedia of American law ;http://www.answers.com/topic/affirmative-action;
Mills, Nicolaus, ed. Debating Affirmative Action: Race, Gender, Ethnicity, and the Politics of Inclusion. Dell Publishing, (1994).