Affirmative Action To Be Reconsidered in Three States This Fall

sj043Affirmative Action is back in employment-law news.  In November, voters in three states (Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska), will decide whether to end consideration of race in admissions to public universities, and in hiring and contract awards by state and local governments. California, Washington and Michigan have already passed similar initiatives.

Opponents of affirmative action argue that it is no longer needed and causes reverse discrimination against whites and Asians. Proponents argue that affirmative action is still necessary to provide assistance to historically oppressed minority groups.

All three proposed measures are under attack in court based on claims that the signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot were obtained through misleading signers about what the purpose of the measure was.

State measures ending affirmative action programs have no effect on the obligation of federal contractors and subcontractors to create and implement written affirmative action plans, because federal affirmative action requirements are imposed through executive orders signed by the President and regulations created and implemented by the federal Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.