Employment Opportunities For African American Women: Federal Laws

Creation of federal laws that support the advancement of African American women and elimination of discriminatory practices including glass ceilings for them has been because of the civil rights movement. Achieving of civil rights equal to those of the whites was an essential demand that all African Americans were fighting for and required the government to look into oppression laws, which undermined the activities of African American on different bases. Equal employment opportunities were highly demanded for because this formed the basis of discrimination and segregation. Housing and education of AAW including access to public facilities was entirely restricted in previous decades making black women in Georgia have a hard time in rights of citizenship. Federal government was forced to enforce its laws that were for protecting AAW in various law enforcement agencies and demand for equal representation.

Racial Integrity Act of 1924 was an act that resulted to problems still experienced in most states with the United States because of its demand to classify individuals based on race and forbidding even intermarriages. The Racial Integrity Act led to definition of individuals based on color. Such laws undermined the efforts and advancement of AAW who have been considered most visible and exposed to scrutiny by employers in senior positions and members of staff. Executive Order 11246 provides requirements for any non-discriminatory practices in employment and hiring on the side of United States government contractors and subcontractors based on race, religion, nationality or color. The Executive Order 11246 requires that documents of hiring be maintained and increase participation of those consider minority and even address the issue of black woman underrepresentation. This has resulted to increased opportunities for employment and advancement of AAW in law enforcement agencies and other organizations. As in most executive orders, there main concern is to eliminate discrimination in the place of work and in hiring processes by placing importance on equality and acceptance of each individual as members of the same society having equal rights and responsibilities (Rice, 2010). Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act enacted in 1994 regulates hate crimes committed based on perceived or actual race, ethnicity, gender, religion of any person and its implementation was to oversee harsh punishment for federal crimes.

Federal laws have so far covered hiring, compensation, dismissal, employment opportunities and various employment aspects. Keeping AAW on entry level positions in law enforcement agencies has been greatly discouraged urging the organizations to provide a chance for their growth. The federal laws have worked towards creation of appropriate environment for black women by striving to eliminate negative stereotypes at the workplace especially indicated by white male co-workers. Various policies and practices have been revised by senior level authorities and inspections have been completed to ensure that no person of any race is discriminated against in law enforcement based on gender and color. Segregation and limiting of AAW through the glass ceilings has adversely affected their promotions hence the federal laws have been amended to address the promotional procedures and the kind of selection board and criteria supposed to be followed in any law enforcement agency. In fact, law enforcement systems have been forced by the federal acts to use seniority or merit systems in measuring individual performance and ability testing which are non-biased. AAW have pushed for employment practices that have disparate impact on them and demanded that similar effects should be for all individuals regardless of the color and gender. The Civil Right Act in 1991 was able to amend most of the rules regarding promotion thereby allowing employees to challenge seniority systems in case of discriminatory and provided a provision of the judicial courts to provide a just ruling. AAW have pushed forward to demand affirmative action where it is necessary to correct past discrimination in law enforcement agencies. These mandatory and voluntary programs are design in a way that federal laws protect the interest of AAW who are discriminated against by those that are white majority.

The 14th Amendment considers the idea of equality where it prohibits a state government from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. The 14th Amendment of equal protection protects each individual from arbitrary discrimination and the federal courts and federal laws are to ensure that the clause is exercised. AAW in Georgia understands the details of the clause and what given situations can be applied. Any form of discrimination either perceived or actual committed against black women in law enforcement agencies therefore has extreme consequences. However, majority of federal courts are run by whites, which brings the controversial debate forward and if justice will be granted. The issue of willful judicial blindness in federal courts in cases involving black women and their counterparts remains largely unresolved due to the favor indicated in providing judgment.

The system of payment for AAW has been very poor in most circumstances receiving very little payment compared to the actual job done during law enforcement. Worse still, their white women counterparts operating at the same level as AAW have had better salaries making it very hard to deal with the open discriminations directed towards them as a result of race and gender. The enactment of Equal Pay Act in 1963 sort to correct most of these concerns striving to change how black women were treated. The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was setup to ensure that it reinforces federal laws, which make it illegal to discriminate against job applicants or even existing employees in various organizations based on color, gender, or race. Most AAW have had to be dismissed earlier on jobs because of their age. When this is compared with the age of those white women, still occupying their positions in law enforcement jobs, the opposite can be identified. Even with the constant changes affecting the workplace, federal administration and laws are addressing the most pressing issues in promotion and retention in law enforcement to ensure equal opportunity for all.

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