Human Resource Discussion/ AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND EQUAL EMPLOYMENT – Assignment Example

The Equal Employment Act and Affirmative Action: A Human Resources Perspective Ron Steele XYZ Human Resources have the critical organizational role to ensure that both legally binding equal employment opportunity laws are being met, along with the socially desirable effects from an affirmative action program. I will outline how Human Resources can ensure goals will be met in the strategic planning and implementation of such policies. Also included is an examination of implementation successes.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) ensures an equal treatment of individuals who fall into protected classes as defined by law. These classes ensure that workers are not discriminated against due to race, color, religion, age, disability, marital status, or sex. (Swain, 2009).
Affirmative action is distinct from EEO, since it is made of policies that strive for measures to assist those individuals who were historically failed by society in regards employment due to social injustices. (Swain, 2009).
The author further mentions that simply having an equal opportunity and affirmative action statement in a handbook is not adequate. A formal plan is desired covering three areas: (1) the required document stating that the company does not discriminate do to factors listed in EEO law; (2) a statistical analysis which examines the company’s current makeup and then compares it to future recruitment plans to set needed goals; and (3) examination of previous year hiring, promotions, and terminations to ensure there was no obvious discrimination patterns (Swain, 2009).
Strategic planning is a critical aspect for EEO plans to be adhered to in an organization. Swain (2009) lists seven strategic goals for Human Resources: (1) review organizational underutilization and develop action plans. One example of an action plan might be upward mobility initiatives. (2) documentation of efforts to neutralize underutilization; (3) communication with supervisory staff on any underutilization; (4) training of managers and supervisory staff in EEO / AA on a regular basis; (5) analyazation at least yearly of the company compensation levels to ensure that those with equal responsibility and abilities are paid similar; (6) creating an outline to correct discrepancies in salary; and (7) developing a plan to ensure pay equity when individuals are hired (Swain, 2009).
SHRM (2010) points to how Human Resources are charged with the task of being educated in intercultural sensitivity issues. Working with and being sensitive to people of different cultural backgrounds than our own promotes less conflict and better harmony in an organization. The article states that studies find people consistently overestimating their cultural competence (SHRM, 2010). As a result, evaluation and education is important for organizational well-being.
A study of top organizations in the field of diversity was performed by Reichenberg (2001). The benchmarking best practices that Human Resources provided in these companies included key items such as: (1) diversity as being an integrated, measurable, and ongoing strategy; (2) diversity training being provided to the entire workforce and not limited to management; (3) data and demographics of the workforce are compared to the civilian labor force to ensure the most equitable balance; and (4) accountability of the results being key as far as meeting the metrics and ensuring goals are continually met (Reichenberg, 2001).
From the above, we can see that Human Resources is primarily given the task of first maintaining adherence to applicable law in regards EEO, but also with helping supervisors and staff with realizing the value of a diverse workforce. Strategic plans are then available to Human Resources in order to make sure goals are being met. Ongoing efforts and accountability will ensure that the company’s efforts are firstly law abiding, but also promoting best practices.
References
Reichenberg, N. (2001). Best Practices in Diversity Management. United Nations Expert Group
Meeting On Managing Diversity in the Civil Service, 1-18.
http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/un/unpan000715.pdf
SHRM. (2010). Introduction to the Human Resources Discipline of Diversity. Society of
Human Resource Management, 1-5.
http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/Diversity/Pages/DiversityIntro.aspx
Swain, T. (2009). Review Your Organization’s OCFCCP Requirements. Employment Practices
Solutions Inc., 1-4.