A policy or practice of proactively hiring, promoting, or increasing in representation certain protected classes of people, such as women and minorities, who have suffered employment discrimination in the past. Three federal laws require affirmative action by federal contractors and subcontractors:
Executive Order No. 11246 of 1965 ( www.practicallaw.com/6-507-0240) (E.O. 11246), which prohibits employment discrimination and requires various actions to increase the hiring and advancement in employment of qualified individuals from under-represented groups historically discriminated against by their:
Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ( www.practicallaw.com/1-507-0228) (Section 503), which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability and requires various actions to increase the hiring and advancement in employment of qualified individuals with disabilities.
The Vietnam Era Veterans Readustment Assistance Act of 1974 ( www.practicallaw.com/2-507-0195) (VEVRAA), which prohibits employment discrimination against veterans and requires various actions to increase the hiring and advancement in employment of covered veterans, including:
recently separated veterans;
veterans of the Vietnam era; and
armed forces service medal veterans.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ( www.practicallaw.com/4-507-0180) (OFCCP) within the Department of Labor ( www.practicallaw.com/2-501-6354) (DOL) administers and enforces these three laws. For more information about these affirmative action laws, see Practice Note, Affirmative Action: Overview.