Oklahoma Affirmative Action laws & HR compliance analysis

Oklahoma Affirmative Action: What you need to know

Affirmative action laws require the employer to make proactive efforts to represent individuals from certain protected classes in the workplace at levels comparable to those for unprotected groups. Affirmative action requirements are separate and distinct from nondiscrimination laws, which prohibit discriminatory acts against protected persons but do not mandate proactive steps in their favor.
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The Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits employers of 15 or more persons from discriminating in employment with respect to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information or disability, unless the employer can demonstrate that accommodation for the disability would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business (OK Stat. Tit. 25 Sec. 1302). Employers are not required to grant preferential treatment to any individual or group even when there is an imbalance in the workforce (OK Stat. Tit. 25 Sec. 1310).
The Oklahoma Affirmative Action Ban Amendment, also known as State Question 759, bans affirmative action programs in the state and prohibits special treatment based on race or sex in public employment, education, and contracts. This measure adds new Section 36 to Article II of the state constitution. The measure bars affirmative action programs in public employment, education, and contracting, but permits affirmative action in three instances:
1. When gender is a bona fide qualification;
2. Under existing court orders and consent decrees that require preferred treatment; and
3. When affirmative action is allowed and is needed to keep or obtain federal funds.
The measure applies to the state and its agencies, counties, ...

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