ERIC Number: ED381864
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Legal Standards Regarding Gender Equity and Affirmative Action.
Ruiz, Celia M.
Because affirmative-action programs require governmental entities to act in a race-conscious and/or gender-conscious manner, public employers' affirmative-action programs may be challenged under both Title VII and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This document describes the standards of review by which courts examine the appropriateness of an affirmative-action plan--the Title VII standard of judicial review and the equal-protection standards of review. The paper addresses the dilemma of whether school districts should formulate affirmative-action plans based on the requirements of Title VII or on the demands of the Equal Protection Clause. To minimize liability, it is recommended that public colleges and universities formulate their affirmative-action plans in accordance with the stricter requirements of the Equal Protection Clause. With the omission of the Sixth Circuit, gender-based affirmative-action plans are constitutional if they are substantially related to government interests. The distinctions between important government interests and substantially related interests are described. In conclusion, public education employers are mandated by federal law to implement gender-based affirmative-action programs if their past employment practices have had a discriminatory effect on women. Programs may also be instituted to redress the results of past social discrimination against women. However, an ill-devised plan may provide grounds for charges of reverse discrimination against the employer. (LMI)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A