Affirmative Action is a remedial and preventative concept imposing a duty on employers, employment agencies, and labor unions to take positive steps to improve the work opportunities of women, racial and ethnic minorities, handicapped, and persons belonging to other groups who have been deprived of job opportunities. Affirmative Action involves activities in each step of the employment process, such as recruitment, selection, training, promotion and retention, which are taken for the specific purpose of eliminating the present effects of past discrimination. An effectively implemented Affirmative Action program would result in measurable yearly improvements in achieving a representative and balanced work force. The Iowa Civil Rights Commission has the responsibility to monitor and coordinate Affirmative Action in state government. The primary document giving the Commission this responsibility is the Governor's Executive Order Number Fifteen.
The Governor's Executive Order Number Fifteen requires each state agency to annually report to the Iowa Civil Rights Commission on its Affirmative Action program. The Commission then issues periodic reports on the status of Affirmative Action in Iowa state agencies. The latest report, covering fiscal year 1980 is soon to be released.