- Executive Order 11246
Executive Order 11246, signed by President
Lyndon B. Johnsonon September 24, 1965required Equal Employment Opportunity. The Order "prohibits federal contractors and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, who do over $10,000 in Government business in one year from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." [http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/ofccp/ca_11246.htm] Contractors are also required to "take affirmative actionto ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex or national origin."
The order was a follow-up to
Executive Order 10479signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhoweron August 13, 1953establishing the anti-discrimination Committee on Government Contracts. This order was amended by six subsequent Executive Orders - see [http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/1953-eisenhower.html]
Equal Opportunity Employmentoriginated here.
The Executive Order also required contractors with 50 or more employees and contracts of $50,000 or more to implement affirmative action plans to increase the participation of minorities and women in the workplace if a workforce analysis demonstrates their underrepresentation. Underrepresentation is defined as there being fewer minorities and women than would be expected, given the statistics of the area from which the workforce is drawn. The statistics used are those minorities and women qualfied to hold the positions available, not all minorities or women in a given geographical area. Pursuant to federal regulations, affirmative action plans must consist of an equal opportunity policy statement, an analysis of the current work force, identification of underrepresented areas, the establishment of reasonable, flexible goals and timetables for increasing employment opportunities, specific action-oriented programs to address problem areas, support for community action programs, and the establishment of an internal audit and reporting system.
Though the myth persists that affirmative action requires quotas, quotas are actually illegal. Other common myths are that in implementing an affirmative action plan, an employer can remove an employee from a job and replace that employee with a minority or female (the employer cannot) and employers are required to hire unqualified employees (they are not). Employers may, in fact, engage in these activities, but it is because they choose to do so, not because it is required by law. Employers who choose to engage in such actions lose the protection that the law provides to employers who are sued by those who believe they are adversely impacted by implementation of an affirmative action plan.
Equal Opportunity Employment
* [http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/1965.html#11246 Executive Order 11246] from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration website.
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