Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action: Concepts & Definitions

  1. Equal Employment Opportunity: as a supervisor, Equal Employment Opportunity means you:
    • provide equal access to all available jobs, training, and promotional opportunities
    • provide similar benefits and services to everyone
    • apply all policies and practices consistently to applicants and staff
    • do not differentiate among applicants or employees on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, or age.

    In other words, EEO forbids employment discrimination. It requires the elimination of any bias in personnel activities.

    Affirmative action is a set of specific, results-oriented programs and activities designed to correct underutilization of minorities and women in the workplace.

  2. Laws and Policies: Supervisors are responsible for meeting the commitments established by campus policies and federal and state regulations. The Chancellor annually distributes the campus policy on EEO/AA to members of the campus community. Campus commitment to EEO/AA is further shown by adherence to federal and state legislation and University policy, including:
    • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, color, religion, and national origin.
    • Executive Order 11246, as amended, forbids employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin by federal contractors and subcontractors and requires them to develop affirmative action plans and to take positive steps to eliminate employment bias.
    • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits discrimination against employees and applicants who are over 40 years of age.
    • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs or activities that receive federal funds.
    • The Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires federal contractors to take affirmative action to employ and promote qualified handicapped persons (Section 503) and prohibits discrimination against handicapped persons in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance (Section 504).
    • Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended requires employers to take affirmative action to employ and advance disabled veterans and qualified veterans of the Vietnam era.
    • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) protects qualified individuals with disabilities. The Act requires employers to make reasonable accommodation to facilitate employment of disabled individuals unless the employer can show the accommodation would impose undue hardship on the operation of business.
    • The Civil Rights Act of 1991 expands the scope of relevant civil rights statutes to provide adequate protection to victims of discrimination, and provides appropriate remedies for intentional discrimination and unlawful harassment in the workplace.
    • The Regents' Resolution SP-2 prohibits the University of California from using race, religion, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin as criteria in its employment practices. It does not prohibit any action that is strictly necessary to establish or maintain eligibility for any federal or state program, where ineligibility would result in a loss of federal or state funds to the University. SP-2 became effective on January 1, 1996.
    • California State Proposition 209 prohibits the state from discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting. It does not prohibit action that must be taken to establish or maintain eligibility for any federal program, where ineligibility would result in a loss of federal funds to the state. Its provisions are similar to those of the Regents' Resolution SP-2. Proposition 209 became effective in November 1997.
    • University policy prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran. Consistent with its status as a state and Federal contractor, the University undertakes affirmative action for underutilized minorities and women, for persons with disabilities, and for Vietnam-era and special disabled veterans.
    • University procedure requires that for each employee having responsibility for meeting established objectives in equal employment opportunity and affirmative action, the performance appraisal shall include an evaluation of the employee's good faith efforts in these areas.
    • Collective bargaining agreements between the University and exclusive representatives prohibit discrimination.