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Related article: 4 Ways to Make the Affirmative Action Planning Process Easier

Affirmative action is a set of policies that were enacted to promote equal opportunity to ensure under–represented groups – in particular minorities – were equally represented, thereby addressing discrimination. The phrase “Affirmative Action” was coined by President John F. Kennedy, when he enacted Executive Order 10925 in March 6, 1961 which outlined the Government’s commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and required government contractors to take measures to hire “without regard to race, creed, color, or national origin”.

This executive order was later amended by President Lyndon B. Johnson and included an equal opportunity employment provision based on gender, as well as a notation that federal contractors must document their affirmative action measures under Executive Order 11246.

Who Needs an Affirmative Action Plan?

In general, employers who conduct business with the federal government need to develop an affirmative action plan. There are other circumstances where employers develop AAP plans outside of federal contractors, which may include a result of a court order to remedy past discrimination or as a voluntary measure.

As it relates to federal contractors or subcontractors in particular, as part of an affirmative action they must comply with mandatory job–listing requirements outlined by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP), and list all employment openings with local state employment services to reach minority groups, including those with disabilities and protected veterans. It is also required that they maintain any personnel or employment records, from job descriptions to job postings and applicant resumes. These records should be available and furnished upon request to the OFCCP, as necessary. The collection, storage and reporting of online job applicant data is a key mandate to meet OFCCP compliance.

Why Diversity Hiring is Important

Not only is diversity great for business, but it also helps companies meet AAP and EEO regulations. The laws that govern affirmative action, as well as the subsequent equal opportunity laws, are meant to promote inclusion and diversity in society. Most businesses today are developing some type of diversity strategy to attract a workforce that accurately represents today’s rich and diverse society.

Diversity recruiting is crucial to business planning and success, from preventing discrimination to the ability to compete in the global marketplace. For any hiring manager, diversity planning and meeting the requisite laws that promote these hiring practices should be a crucial part of recruitment planning.

For more information on diversity hiring and OFCCP requirements, visit us today at

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