An Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) is a policy set by an employer to eliminate employment discrimination. It establishes the guidelines for recruiting minority candidates and women.

What is Included in an AAP?

If an employer finds that women and minorities are being excluded by their employment policies, the employer may wish to establish an AAP. This approach aims to rectify any problems the employer sees by creating new policies and practices. The employer sets goals for its new policies in the AAP.

Is My Employer Required to Have an AAP?

No, your employer is not required to have an AAP. There is no requirement to create an AAP in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. However, some employers who have government contracts may be required to establish AAPs. Federal contractors whose contracts exceed $50,000 (with at least 50 employees) must develop an AAP. Some states may do the same. Also, your employer may choose to establish an AAP voluntarily.

What about Recent Developments?

The Supreme Court has ruled that affirmative action programs will be strongly scrutinized and must be narrowly focused on a governmental interest. Most government employers and companies are eliminating references to goals/timetables for fear they will seem like quotas. Now, companies with contracts with the federal government only have to make good faith efforts to hire those best suited for the job. These companies must also try to be responsive to the underrepresented groups. Because of the Supreme Court’s questioning of affirmative action programs, companies are changing their policies to remove any reference to formal AAPs.

Do I Need an Experienced Employment Law Attorney?

An experienced discrimination lawyers would be able to inform you of your rights as a worker. It may be helpful for you to consult the human resources department in your workplace and to review any company handbooks.