Q. Are all employers required to have affirmative action plans? —T.S., Maryland
A. No. Typically, only certain federal contractors are required to have them. Under Executive Order 11246, employers with 50 or more employees having federal nonconstruction contracts or subcontracts of $50,000 or more must prepare a written affirmative action plan within 120 days of the contract's commencement.
While employers having federal construction contracts are not required to develop a written affirmative action plan, they are subject to the Executive Order's detailed procedures designed to ensure that females and minorities are represented in their work force at levels consistent with federal goals for the economic area in which they work.
While Maryland has no state laws requiring affirmative action, two additional federal laws require affirmative actions plans: the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (dealing with disability discrimination) and the Vietnam Era Veteran's Readjustment Assistance Act (dealing with disabled and Vietnam-era veterans). Both of these laws require employers with 50 or more employees having federal contracts or subcontracts of $50,000 or more to write affirmative action plans for these workers.