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Do California employers have to practice affirmative action?

In 1995, California voters voted against Proposition 209. Had voters passed that legislation, it would have resulted in a state constitutional amendment allowing for affirmative action policies to be instituted in the public contracting, education and employment sectors throughout the state. While this legislation didn’t get signed into law, some California employers are required to uphold federal affirmative action policies.

Some California employers are subject to Executive Order 11246. This includes three pieces of federal legislation including the Jobs for Veterans Act, the Vietnam-Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Los Angeles County employers covered by these pieces of legislation are required to have documented affirmative action plans in place.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs regularly performs glass ceiling audits, compliance on-site reviews and checks and equal opportunity surveys to make sure that employers are abiding by these federal requirements.

Employers that are classified as affirmative action ones include virtually any financial institution including mortgage lenders, credit unions and banks that employ 50 or more workers. Any health care facility or hospital that has that many employees may also be classified as an affirmative action employer.

Construction subcontractors or contractors who hold federal contracts with a monetary value of $50,000 or more may also be classified as an affirmative action employer. Any company that has 50 or more employees and is contracted to provide services worth $50,000 or more to the federal government may also be required to have a written affirmative action plan in place as well.

Affirmative action policies have long been in an existence to ensure that women and individuals of diverse ethnic origins all are given a fair shot to obtain public employment and higher education opportunities just like everyone else.

If you feel like you weren’t hired for a role, promoted, offered training or otherwise discriminated against in the workplace because you belong to a protected class, then you may be entitled to compensation from your California employer. A workplace discrimination attorney can review the details surrounding your treatment and advise you of the next steps that you may want to take in your Los Angeles County case.

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