Is our affirmative action plan a Catch-22?

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Hiring,Human Resources

Q. Our company maintains an affirmative action plan. I’m concerned, however, that if we refuse to hire a white applicant because of the plan, that person might be able to sue us for discrimination. Yet, if we don’t follow the plan, minority applicants can sue us. It seems like a Catch-22. What do we do?

A. Just because you have an affirmative action plan does not mean that’s the only factor to consider when hiring employees. Sole reliance on an affirmative action plan in hiring could lead to a claim of reverse discrimination.

An affirmative action plan cannot be used to maintain racial quotas or to unnecessarily trample the rights of nonminorities. If your business has an affirmative action plan, use it as a factor in hiring decisions, but not the only factor.

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