Employment Process Manual, Equal Opportunity Recruting Issues
- EA/EO representatives' obligations regarding the recruiting and hiring process should be to ensure fairness, consistency, nondiscrimination and the selection of the best qualified person based on experience, credentials and attitude/personality.
- Diversity goals in the absence of an appropriate affirmative action plan and obligations will not constitute a defense to discrimination against the most qualified applicant for a position.
- Affirmative action plans are generally only permitted in very limited circumstances:
- An affirmation action plan is required by law for certain government contractors. These plans must be written and must meet the guidelines of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance or
- Voluntary affirmative action plans may be instituted based either on a specific finding of past discrimination by the employer or to eliminate a clear and substantial imbalance in a traditionally segregated job category or workforce. Voluntary affirmative action plans can only be instituted under very limited circumstances, can only be implemented to achieve goals (not quotas) in a manner which does not unnecessarily trammel the rights of others, only temporarily instituted for a period of time designed to reasonably cure the imbalance and only for the purpose of attaining (not maintaining) a balanced workforce.
- Since neither of these factual circumstances applies to Seminole State College, the hiring practices of the College must carefully follow equal opportunity guidelines and not affirmative action policies. Equal opportunity guidelines, of course, focus on the selection of the most qualified individual for the job without regard to race, color, religion, pregnancy, national origin, ethnicity, age, sex, gender, veterans’ or military status, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, or any other protected factors under applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations whereas affirmative action policies focus on the most qualified individual, but taking into consideration the otherwise protected factors in a way designed to cure clear imbalances in the workforce.