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Affirmative Action Plan

What is an Affirmative Action Plan (AAP)? 

Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) is a management tool that consists of a written set of specific, results-oriented procedures that must be followed to ensure equal employment opportunities. The plan uses statistical analyses to ensure that an employer has created or is creating a workforce that is an authentic reflection of the demographics of their relevant, qualified labour pool by ensuring equal access to employment opportunities for specific protected classes, such as minorities, veterans, women, and people with disabilities.

It is a crucial step in the hiring process because it eliminates the effects of discrimination through specific actions in recruitment, hiring, and promotions. AAPs should be reviewed and updated at least once a year, according to federal guidelines.

Who needs an Affirmative Action Plan?

While all employers should be aware of EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) laws, only federal contractors or subcontractors with fifty or more employees are required to have a written, up-to-date AAP. And in addition: 

  • A contract with a value of $50,000 or more.
  • Have a total of $50,000 or more in government bills of lading in any 12-month period.
  • Serve as a repository for any amount of government funds.
  • Is a financial institution that issues and pays US savings bonds and savings notes in any amount.

How should an organization prepare an Affirmative Action Plan?

Contractors should use internal audits and reporting systems, according to the OFCCP, to keep track of relevant employee demographic data, monitor anti-discrimination initiatives, and assess the effectiveness of any Affirmative Action Plan. 

This should include information such as: 

  • Applicant and employee demographics voluntarily collected during the hiring process using an applicant flow log
  • Promotions
  • Transfers
  • Terminations
  • Compensation

To be clear, an AAP is the written document containing the company's plan and policies for the coming year, not the auditing or reporting system. However, it is dependent on the outcomes and data gathered from both.