My company has an affirmative action plan. What is that?

An Affirmative Action Plan ("AAP") sets standards for the recruiting, hiring and promotion of women and minorities in order to eliminate the present effects of past employment discrimination. Private employers may voluntarily institute affirmative action policies to remedy the makeup of its workforce in a particular job classification. Federal Government contractors are, for the most part, required to maintain an AAP as a condition of the contract.
The hallmarks of a proper AAP include:

  • the AAP is created to eliminate racial or sex-based imbalances in the workforce;
  • the AAP does not unnecessarily stomp-on the interests of non-minority employees;
  • the AAP has flexible goals rather than strict quotas, and takes into consideration normal workforce turnover, layoffs, new jobs and retirements.