Human Resources Essay

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Question: As the human resources manager, you are now ready to complete your diversity training manual to be used for training and sensitizing your employees on diversity issues. This final section will cover actual legislation. You would like your employees to not only be aware of issues dealing with discrimination that may not be addressed in legislation (the moral component) but to be knowledgeable of the seriousness of the discriminatory practices that have been made into law.

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Affirmative Action is one of the most contentious issues; its intent and the discriminatory result of applying it in practice has become a major issue in today’s workforce.

Using this Web site (or any others you find), write a paper of 3-4 pages that will summarize the following points and become part of the training manual:

  • What is Affirmative Action?
  • What was the initial intent of Affirmative-Action legislation?
  • What did the landmark Bakke v. Regents case conclude? Click here to read the case.
  • What was the basis for the conclusion?
  • What are the positive and negative results of Affirmative Action legislation?

In your evaluation, is Affirmative Action legislation is still appropriate?

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The concept of affirmative action tends to shape the consideration offered when hiring, admitting, sharing or information, and promoting people in various institutions. The under privileged group receives the chance to participate in the hiring or admission process in the same way as people from mainstream communities.

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What is affirmative action?

It refers to a policy that provides or creates special places for employment or consideration or favoring people or members of the society who have been subjected to discrimination. In the labor market, affirmative action roots for consideration for employment to members of the disadvantaged community. The affirmative action is discriminative in the sense that it creates special slots for employment for a group deemed as disadvantaged in the community. By creating and implementing this policy in a workplace, the people from the disadvantaged community have the chance to participate in the job market.

The initial intention of affirmative action is traceable to the executive order No. 10,925 of 1961 issued by President John F. Kennedy (Pasour, 1989). The instructed federal contractors to take affirmative action in ensuring that job applications and their employees receive equal treatment regardless of color, creed, race, or national origin. The initial intention of affirmative action was to ensure that employers exercised fairness in hiring, promoting, and spreading information concerning employment opportunities.  It emphasized on encouraging communities or people from disadvantaged or discriminated group to apply for the employment opportunities, college admission, and similar opportunities in the nation.

Critics contend that affirmative action is a product of agitation for equal distribution of opportunities to every member of the society (Pasour, 1989). Its aim was to cut the vicious cycle that deprived people from minority groups from acquiring job opportunities, college admission, and so forth. Prior to its creation, the employers hired by a word of mouth and did so in promoting their employers. The trend exhibited by the employers or the discriminative society did not offer equal chances for every member of the society to receive job opportunity, receive information concerning the vacant positions, or consideration for employment.

However, the interpretation of affirmative action as implemented by institutions including employers led to creation of special slots for the minority groups in the society. This approach tends to offer unbiased consideration in admitting or employing people in various institutions. By creating special slots for members of special groups, the essence of equality in making the admission or employment becomes distance from the truth. In one way, the special slots would deny the other members of the society from competing for the slots. For instance, in the landmark case of Bakke v. Regents case, the plaintiff challenged the special slots created by the California University for the admission of minority races (Ball, 2000).

The Bakke v. Regents was a landmark case concerning the application of affirmative action. In this case, the Supreme Court concluded that no amount of discrimination in terms of color, race, or nation should be considered in admitting people in the university. Instead, the ruling held that every had an equal opportunity to serve or to get admission in the university as provided in the Fourteenth Amendment which requires ‘that no applicant may be rejected on the account of his race in favor of another who is less qualified as measured by the standard applied without regard to race’.

The basis of conclusion for Bakke v. Regents case was the provisions of the Fourteen Amendments that define the right of every individual in the society. Since the Fourteen Amendment recognizes the rights of every individual in the society, it requires that institutions should exercise a fair hiring, admission, promotion, or sharing of information irrespective of the color or race of the individual.

The positive results of affirmative action include it helps in creating opportunities for the marginalized groups in the society. Affirmative action enhances diversity in the workplace because it promotes the acceptance people of varied racial backgrounds to get equal opportunity to serve in the organization. On the contrary, affirmative action has negative consequences such as giving unqualified candidates the chance yet there are qualified ones for the same job. Affirmative action hinders equality right that dictates that every individual as an equal right. By secluding a group from the rest of the society, the equality right no longer exists.

I believe that affirmative action legislation is appropriate because it offers an opportunity for every member of the society to get a chance to serve. The minority groups at times lack the opportunity to receive equal consideration as the major groups. Thus, by creating affirmative action, their hiring process, or admission process becomes fair because the minority group get the chance to serve in equal capacity as the major groups. The result of affirmative is the diversification, which is evident in the workplace. In the absence of affirmative action, workplaces or institutions might not capable of reflecting the diversity in the society. Notably, since the society is diversified, the workplace or institutions should also reflect the same image.


Ball, H. (2000). The Bakke case. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. Retrieved from

University of California Regents v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978). Retrieved from the FindLaw Web site:

Pasour, E. (1989). Affirmative Action: A Counterproductive Policy. Retrieved on

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