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How Does Affirmative Action Affect Discrimination in the Workplace?

It is no secret that certain demographics in the United States have endured discrimination and unfair treatment over the years. It is an unfortunate fact that luckily the government is attempting to rectify with the implementation of affirmative action. Created to foster diversity and make amends for the mistakes once made, affirmative action can have a significant positive impact on workplace discrimination. Discrimination is not going to disappear immediately, but with employers and government agencies making an active effort to remedy the damage done, change will happen. If you are dealing with employment discrimination or harassment reach out to a Marquette employment lawyer for representation and legal advice to ensure your rights are respected.

What is Affirmative Action?

Affirmative action is a program with policies and procedures designed to eliminate discrimination in government-related areas including businesses, colleges, housing, etc. Any business that works with the government or federal business is required by law to abide by its processes. Historically, certain demographics have been oppressed and the victims of prejudices. Affirmative action intends to reverse that by promoting diversity now. Affirmative action was created to expand diversity and provide equal opportunity to people of every color, race, religion, sex, gender, and sexual orientation, as well as people with disabilities or veteran statuses.

How Can a Business Implement an AAP?

An AAP (affirmative action plan) is a required step for all businesses abiding by the program. It is a detailed written plan that an employer will create to list out the steps they intend to take to reduce and eliminate discrimination in the workplace. The plan should discuss how they are going to identify and rectify discriminatory practices, training and development actions they will take, how they plan to increase diversity in certain positions, and more. Some policies that businesses can include in their AAP and begin in the workplace include:

  • Outreach campaigns
  • Targeted recruitment
  • Employee support programs
  • Employee and management training
  • Providing assistance for gender representation or people with disabilities

How Will Affirmative Action Change Workplace Discrimination?

It is the ultimate goal of affirmative action to eliminate workplace discrimination as a whole. It may be unrealistic to think that it could happen, but over time after implementing an effective AAP it is possible.

Implementing the policies discussed above and actively working to complete the AAP will result in noticeable changes in the work environment. It can result in a decrease or elimination of discrimination when making hiring decisions, promoting internally, and assigning tasks. Diversity is one of the most important aspects of a group employment setting. Hearing new perspectives and opinions can result in more creative problem-solving, increased productivity, and out of the box thinking.

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