John A. Klassen, PA Minnesota Employment Law Attorney
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Affirmative action and discrimination

Affirmative action can be a pretty hot topic, politically speaking. However, while there may be a growing acceptance of affirmative action, the reality is that many people in Minnesota and elsewhere probably still don't know too much about this policy and how it can come into play when employment discrimination occurs.

Affirmative action, in general, is all about promoting equal opportunities for Americans of all races and genders. Advocates for the positive aspects of affirmative action will note that there are still some pretty glaring differences in how Americans of different races or genders are paid. For instance, one statistic states that African American men make only about three-fourths of what Caucasian men make in similar types of employment. The gap in median household income between African American and Caucasian households is fairly wide as well. That is where affirmation action comes into the picture.

In essence, affirmative action is in place to help correct a history of discrimination in America against minorities and women. But, advocates for affirmative action will point out that this policy is intended to encourage fairness in hiring opportunities.

Employment discrimination, as many of our readers see in the news quite frequently, still exists. Some employees receive less pay for equal work, and when that happens for no other reason than race or gender, employers need to be held accountable. Minnesota employees have rights under state and federal employment laws and they need to make sure that employers are doing their part to provide workplaces that are free from discrimination.

Source: civilrights.org, "Frequently Asked Questions about Affirmative Action," Accessed May 29, 2017

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