The meaning of “Affirmative Action” is positive steps taken to increase the representation of veterans, women and minorities in the areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been historically excluded. Here is an overview of affirmative action compliance.
1. Principles of Affirmative Action
The Principles of affirmative action are where there are fewer women or minorities than would reasonably be expected by their availability in the labor market, a contractor must establish goals to attract and retain a more viable labor pool. EO 11246 states that goals are reasonable targets for recruitment and outreach. The standard of compliance is ‘good faith’ and it is not intended to achieve proportional representation or equal results. Affirmative Action is intended to be preventative and proactive. Affirmative Action removes preferences and other barriers to increase opportunity.
2. Employment Opportunity Vs. Affirmative Action Requirements
The requirements for equal employment opportunity is that anyone “qualified” should have access to the candidate pool, “unqualified” do not need to be considered. It also requires the use of a “non-discriminatory selection” process to compare and determine applicants chosen for placement.
The affirmative action requirements are: assure minority and female representation in all candidate pools, follow EEO laws and use a non-discriminatory selection process, avoid preferences based on race, gender, or any other protected status, develop “written action plans” to assess problems of underutilization.
3. Future Planning Tips
Here are a few tips for future planning of affirmative action: Stay up to date with new regulations, be consistent with applicant tracking, document outreach efforts, meet your HRIS team and understand what data they are compiling, review and clean your data.
4. Compliance Tips
The compliance tips for affirmative action are: Ensure clean data, disposition codes,, documentation, periodic internal audits, tracking job postings, monitoring recruitment efforts, reviewing adverse effects, and advertising for the right position.
5. Audit Readiness in Recruiting
The objective is to ensure what you say you are doing is what is quantitatively demonstrated. For that you need to review process against practice, ensure career site is ADA assessable, review and renew outreach efforts in a meaningful way, allow the contractor to test the tests for soundness, allow for transparency – the devil’s in the details, ensure interview questions are audit worthy, find out low hiring ratios for one job and effectively manage third party linkage agreements.
6. Common Audit Traps
Here are a few common audit traps: poorly defined protocol and recordkeeping, third party relationships, systemic discrimination in hiring, compensation discrimination, poor data collection & analysis, goals analysis and the inference provision.