The Past and Future of Affirmative Action: A Guide and Analysis for Human Resource Professionals and Corporate Counsel

The Past and Future of Affirmative Action: A Guide and Analysis for Human Resource Professionals and Corporate Counsel

The Past and Future of Affirmative Action: A Guide and Analysis for Human Resource Professionals and Corporate Counsel

The Past and Future of Affirmative Action: A Guide and Analysis for Human Resource Professionals and Corporate Counsel

Synopsis

Turner provides a comprehensive resource and guide through the maze of preferential treatment doctrine, U.S. Supreme Court decisions relating to affirmative action, and agency regulations and practices. Rather than focus on the moral or constitutional issues involved, Turner seeks to provide an objective analysis of the evolution of the legal concept of affirmative action. To this end, he defines and examines what affirmative action was in the early 1970s, explores how the Supreme Court is now interpreting the concept, and analyzes other federal and state legislative and administrative initiatives in affirmative action.

Excerpt

Race and the question of discrimination are well-known and much discussed historical and contemporary issues of primary significance in our nation's history. These fundamental issues are the subject of social and public policy in all areas of life, including education, housing, voting rights, and employment. It is the latter area which is the subject of this book. Like other societal developments and problems, the issue of race has become and will remain an issue of and in the workplace. Given the history and legacy of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender that marks so much of the nation's political and social reality, private employers and public sector entities continue to face the task of ensuring that their practices and policies are nondiscriminatory. This task is not just of a moral imperative and dimension. While regulation and legislation of an individual's "heart" is a difficult if not impossible proposition, regulation of conduct through legislation is a more fruitful and hopefully attainable exercise. Thus, fair employment laws and constitutional protections for minorities underscore the question of discrimination and the quest for answers thereto. All members of society are affected by the emphasis given to this issue and the mechanisms put in place to combat discrimination as reflected by our laws and public policy.

This book focuses on the issue of affirmative action in employment and in public contracting as applied to racial minorities. in undertaking this project, it was my desire to describe what the law is--a step which is often overlooked in the rush to judge affirmative action as moral or immoral, right or wrong, constitutional or unconstitutional. That primary purpose is the goal of this endeavor, and it is hoped that the ensuing chapters will serve as a resource and guide through the maze of preferential treatment doctrine, United States Supreme Court decisions discussing the same, and agency regulations and practices.

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