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DOL - 29 CFR PART 1608

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION APPROPRIATE UNDER TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED

active, Most Current
Organization: DOL
Publication Date: 1 July 2018
Status: active
Page Count: 8
scope:

Statement of purpose.

(a) Need for Guidelines. Since the passage of title VII in 1964, many employers, labor organizations, and other persons subject to title VII have changed their employment practices and systems to improve employment opportunities for minorities and women, and this must continue. These changes have been undertaken either on the initiative of the employer, labor organization, or other person subject to title VII, or as a result of conciliation efforts under title VII, action under Executive Order 11246, as amended, or under other Federal, State, or local laws, or litigation. Many decisions taken pursuant to affirmative action plans or programs have been race, sex, or national origin conscious in order to achieve the Congressional purpose of providing equal employment opportunity. Occasionally, these actions have been challenged as inconsistent with title VII, because they took into account race, sex, or national origin. This is the so-called ''reverse discrimination'' claim. In such a situation, both the affirmative action undertaken to improve the conditions of minorities and women, and the objection to that action, are based upon the principles of title VII. Any uncertainty as to the meaning and application of title VII in such situations threatens the accomplishment of the clear Congressional intent to encourage voluntary affirmative action. The Commission believes that by the enactment of title VII Congress did not intend to expose those who comply with the Act to charges that they are violating the very statute they are seeking to implement. Such a result would immobilize or reduce the efforts of many who would otherwise take action to improve the opportunities of minorities and women without litigation, thus frustrating the Congressional intent to encourage voluntary action and increasing the prospect of title VII litigation. The Commission believes that it is now necessary to clarify and harmonize the principles of title VII in order to achieve these Congressional objectives and protect those employers, labor organizations, and other persons who comply with the principles of title VII.

(b) Purposes of title VII. Congress enacted title VII in order to improve the economic and social conditions of minorities and women by providing equality of opportunity in the work place. These conditions were part of a larger pattern of restriction, exclusion, discrimination, segregation, and inferior treatment of minorities and women in many areas of life. 2 The Legislative Histories of title VII, the Equal Pay Act, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 contain extensive analyses of the higher unemployment rate, the lesser occupational status, and the consequent lower income levels of minorities and women. 3 The purpose of Executive Order No. 11246, as amended, is similar to the purpose of title VII. In response to these economic and social conditions, Congress, by passage of title VII, established a national policy against discrimination in employment on grounds of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. In addition, Congress strongly encouraged employers, labor organizations, and other persons subject to title VII (hereinafter referred to as ''persons,'' see section 701(a) of the Act) to act on a voluntary basis to modify employment practices and systems which constituted barriers to equal employment opportunity, without awaiting litigation or formal government action. Conference, conciliation, and persuasion were the primary processes adopted by Congress in 1964, and reaffirmed in 1972, to achieve these objectives, with enforcement action through the courts or agencies as a supporting procedure where voluntary action did not take place and conciliation failed. See section 706 of title VII

2 Congress has also addressed these conditions in other laws, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Pub. L. 88-38, 77 Stat. 56 (1963), as amended; the other titles of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pub. L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241 (1964), as amended; the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Pub. L. 89-110, 79 Stat. 437 (1965), as amended; the Fair Housing Act of 1968, Pub. L. 90-284, title VII, 82 Stat. 73, 81 (1968), as amended; the Educational Opportunity Act (title IX), Pub. L. 92-318, 86 Stat. 373 (1972), as amended; and the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, Pub. L. 92-261, 86 Stat. 103 (1972), as amended

Document History

July 1, 2021
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION APPROPRIATE UNDER TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED
Statement of purpose. (a) Need for Guidelines. Since the passage of title VII in 1964, many employers, labor organizations, and other persons subject to title VII have changed their employment...
July 1, 2020
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION APPROPRIATE UNDER TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED
Statement of purpose. (a) Need for Guidelines. Since the passage of title VII in 1964, many employers, labor organizations, and other persons subject to title VII have changed their employment...
July 1, 2019
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION APPROPRIATE UNDER TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED
Statement of purpose. (a) Need for Guidelines. Since the passage of title VII in 1964, many employers, labor organizations, and other persons subject to title VII have changed their employment...
29 CFR PART 1608
July 1, 2018
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION APPROPRIATE UNDER TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED
Statement of purpose. (a) Need for Guidelines. Since the passage of title VII in 1964, many employers, labor organizations, and other persons subject to title VII have changed their employment...
July 1, 2017
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION APPROPRIATE UNDER TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED
Statement of purpose. (a) Need for Guidelines. Since the passage of title VII in 1964, many employers, labor organizations, and other persons subject to title VII have changed their employment...
July 1, 2016
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION APPROPRIATE UNDER TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED
Statement of purpose. (a) Need for Guidelines. Since the passage of title VII in 1964, many employers, labor organizations, and other persons subject to title VII have changed their employment...
July 1, 2015
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION APPROPRIATE UNDER TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED
Statement of purpose. (a) Need for Guidelines. Since the passage of title VII in 1964, many employers, labor organizations, and other persons subject to title VII have changed their employment...
July 1, 2014
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION APPROPRIATE UNDER TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED
Statement of purpose. (a) Need for Guidelines. Since the passage of title VII in 1964, many employers, labor organizations, and other persons subject to title VII have changed their employment...
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