The university has a very long and detailed Affirmative Action Plan (Texas, 2011). While they are required to have one, they have developed it beyond what many companies do when faced with the necessity of creating such a plan. Because Texas A&M has a plan that is so long and detailed, it is a good example for other businesses that must also create AAPs for their companies if they want to work with the federal government (Texas, 2011). They must stay in compliance, which is not complicated if one knows the rules and is determined to follow them.
HRM Policies and Procedures Regarding Affirmative Action
Since the creation of Affirmative Action, HRM policies and procedures have changed (Felsberg, 2005). Companies have been made more aware of differences between individuals who apply for a job, and how those differences can (and in some cases must) be accepted and utilized. If a person is turned away from a job for a reason that falls under Affirmative Action, the company must be able to show why it was justified in that decision (Felsberg, 2005). In other words, if a company turns someone away and it can be proven that he or she physically or mentally could not do the job, even with accommodation, that is an acceptable reason to refuse employment to that person. If the job-seeker was turned away simply because the employer did not want to hire "someone like that," a lawsuit could be the next step for the person who was denied a job at the company based on Affirmative Action guidelines.
Some companies attempt to make Affirmative Action a grey area, but it is actually quite black and white. The federal government has set guidelines that must be followed by companies that fall into certain categories. If those companies fail to follow the guidelines correctly, they can be penalized - sometimes quite severely. For companies that are subject to Affirmative Action and EEO rules and regulations, erring on the side of caution is the best choice. Also, it is important for these companies to seek answers to things that they do not understand, so that they can ensure they are following the rules correctly. It is easy to get incorrect information by just asking around to other companies, and is a much better choice to go to the source and contact the government in order to get answers regarding any EEO concerns or questions. Companies that make sure they are in compliance have nothing to worry about, even if a lawsuit is brought against them.
Felsberg, E.J. (2005, Summer) Affirmative action overview for federal contractors. Employment Relations Today 32(2): 101-105. Retrieved August 20, 2011 from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=872442841&sid=3&Fmt=6&clientId=19440&RQT=309&VName=PQD
Leuchovius, D. The Rehabilitation Act and ADA connection. Retrieved August 20, 2011 from http://www.pacer.org/publications/adaqa.adaqa.asp.
The Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act. Retrieved August 20, 2011 from http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-vevraa.htm
Texas A&M University, Executive Order 11246 Affirmative Action Plan. Retrieved August 20, 2011 from http://tder.tamucc.edu/Affirmative%20Action%20Plan%202009.pdf