Employment Affirmative Action After Proposition 209

Though Proposition 209 is now law as Section 31 of Article I in the California State Constitution, the campus should continue to consider race, ethnicity or gender in recruitment efforts to increase the number of underutilized minorities and women in the applicant pool for job openings, says Sheila O'Rourke, academic compliance affairs officer.

The new constitutional amendment prohibits discrimination or "preferential treatment" on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. However, it exempts actions which must be taken to establish or maintain eligibility for federal funding. Therefore, the campus must continue to comply with affirmative action regulations governing federal contractors, explains O'Rourke.

Recruitment advertisements should continue to state that the university is an "Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Employer." Ads may also state that "all qualified applicants are encouraged to apply, including minorities and women."

Proposition 209 went into effect Aug. 28, after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it constitutional and denied further review. On Nov. 3, further appeal of the initiative was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Office of the President has distributed a question-and-answer document that further explains the effect of the new law on university employment practices. A copy may be obtained at http://www.ucop.edu/humres/policies/sp-2.html.

In addition, the Department of Labor has created a one-page poster titled "EEO is the Law" that should be displayed in every campus unit to provide employees with information about equal opportunity laws.

This poster is available at http://dol.gov/dol/osbp/public/sbrefa/poster/main.htm.



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