An ad hoc "affirmative action" plan

October 6, 2006

My office manager would like to start an informal "affirmative action" program to try to hire more minority employees. I agree with her intentions, but is this a good idea?

Q:My office manager would like to start an informal "affirmative action" program to try to hire more minority employees. I agree with her intentions, but is this a good idea?

A: No. It creates the risk of reverse-discrimination claims in cases where a qualified applicant believes he's been rejected because of his race. If you want to increase the number of minority employees at your office, first get the advice of an attorney who specializes in employment discrimination. One strategy, with a much lower risk of litigation, is to focus your recruiting efforts on increasing the number of minority candidates in the applicant pool.