Magazine article Black Enterprise

Under the Table: Dole-Canady Bill out of Sight until November Elections

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Under the Table: Dole-Canady Bill out of Sight until November Elections

Article excerpt

After much GOP banter about quashing national affirmative-action efforts, the Equal Opportunity Act of 1995, a bill drafted by presidential hopeful Sen. Bob Dole and Rep. Charles Canady, was quietly pulled for further study.

Some believe the Republican-controlled House and Congress, already bruised from fights over Medicare, weren't looking for another high-profile and ugly battle over affirmative action. But there's concern now that following the November election, the Dole-Canady bill (S. 1085, H.R. 2128), which proposes to outlaw race- and sex-based remedies in hiring and federal contract awards, could come back with some ferocity, especially if the GOP proves victorious in November.

Shirley Wilcher, deputy assistant secretary of the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), is charged with enforcing Executive Order 11246 and other federal laws that bar discrimination and require federal contractors and subcontractors, as a condition of their government contracts, to take affirmative action to ensure that all employees are treated without regard to race. Wilcher said if the Dole-Canady bill breathes new life, it would have a crippling effect on the ability of her organization to meet its objectives.

"It's possible that this legislation could resurface at any time. It would effectively eliminate remedies for dealing with discrimination. And that's a major cause for concern," she says. …

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