Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952651 | Print ISBN: 9781412924702 | Online ISBN: 9781412952651| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
David Albert Kravitz
Affirmative action has been one of the most controversial public policies of the past 40 years. A conceptual definition of affirmative action is any measure, beyond a simple termination of discriminatory practice, adopted to correct for past or present discrimination or to prevent discrimination from recurring in the future. In practice, organizational affirmative action programs (AAPs) can and do encompass a multitude of actions. These actions are shaped by federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Although some educational institutions apply affirmative action to student admissions and many countries have corresponding laws and regulations, this entry is limited to workplace affirmative action in the United States. Affirmative action law in the United States is jointly determined by the Constitution, legislative acts, executive orders, and court decisions. It is complex, incomplete, and open to revision. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is responsible for developing and enforcing most AAPs, although ...