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Social Equity. Lecture 16 – Administrative Processes in Government. What Is Social Equity?.

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Social Equity

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Social Equity

Lecture 16 – Administrative Processes in Government


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What Is Social Equity?

  • Social equity is fairness in the delivery of public services; It is egalitarianism in action – the principle that each citizen regardless of economic resources or personal traits deserves and has a right to be given equal treatment by the political system.


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What Is Social Equity?

  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau – “It is precisely because the force of circumstances tends always to destroy equality that the force of legislation must always tend to maintain it.”

  • Government organizations have a special obligation to be fair – to pursue social equity both with their employees and the public – because they represent the citizenry.


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Mandating Social Equity

  • There is a long tradition of government forcing private organizations to better treat their employees.

  • Better treatment was inhibited by social Darwinism – the concept of biological evolution applied by others to the development of human social organization and economic policy.


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Mandating Social Equity

  • Provided justification for child labor. As a result, it took one hundred years for federal and state government to outlaw child labor altogether.


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Mandating Social Equity

  • The whole thrust of the labor and women’s movements that began in the nineteenth century and the post-World War II civil rights movement was to obtain legislation that would equalize the employment and social prospects of unions, women, and minority group members.

  • The fine tuning of these public policies is an ongoing process.


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The New Public Administration

  • By the late 1960s, serious questions were being raised about the state of the discipline and profession of public administration.

  • Minnowbrook conference.

  • H. George Frederickson called for social equity in the performance and delivery of social services.

  • Although mostly pushed by writing rather than action, the principle now dominates public administration actions.


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The Challenge of Equality

  • Equality is an American ideal. In 1776 the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that “all men are create equal.” Derived from natural rights which cannot be taken away. John Locke.

  • But, both the Declaration and Constitution denied rights to large segments of the population.


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Racism

  • Race can be defined as large group of people with common characteristics that are presumably transmitted genetically.

    • Physical characteristics

    • More controversially, emotions and aptitudes.

  • Up to the middle of the 20th century, race was used as a method of distinguishing among national groups.

  • Began as language distinction, but became a source of ranking and discrimination.


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Race

  • A racist can be defined as any person or organization that either consciously or unconsciously practices racial discrimination against a person on the basis of race (or ethnicity) or supports the supremacy of one race over others.

  • “Stealth racism.” – Department store security, racial profiling.


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The Bitter Heritage of Slavery

  • What distinguishes African-Americans from other ethnic groups is the fact that they are the only group brought to the U.S. as slaves.

  • Constitution

    • Article I, section 2 – three-fifths rule.

      • Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

    • Article I, section 9 – slave trade (1808).

      • The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.

    • Article IV, section 2 – runaway slaves.

      • No person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.


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The Bitter Heritage of Slavery

  • Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857).

  • Civil War.

  • Emancipation Proclamation.

  • Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution.

  • Reconstruction (1865-1876).

  • Jim Crow laws.

  • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).


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The Bitter Heritage of Slavery

  • Second reconstruction (1954-1970).

  • Brown v. Board of Education (1954).

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (1964).


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The Bitter Heritage of Slavery

  • Ethnic and racial reporting.

    • White, not Hispanic (EEO-1).

    • Black, not Hispanic (EEO-1).

    • Hispanic (EEO-1).

    • American Indian or Alaskan Native (EEO-1).

    • Asian or Pacific Islander (EEO-1).

    • Jewish (Shaare Tefila Congregation v. Cobb, 1987).

    • Arabic (Saint Francis College v. Al-Khazraji, 1987).


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The Bitter Heritage of Slavery

  • Employment advantages, and set asides.

  • The use of set asides upheld in several cases, restricted in later cases, and abandoned by Clinton Administration.


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Equal Employment Opportunity

  • Equal employment opportunity (EEO) is a concept fraught with political, cultural, and emotional overtones.

  • Generally, it applies to a set of employment procedures and practices that effectively prevent any individual from being adversely excluded from employment opportunities on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, or other factors that cannot lawfully be used to make employment decisions.


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Equal Employment Opportunity

  • The ideal is an employment system devoid of intentional and unintentional discrimination, but it may be a political impossibility to achieve because of disagreement about definitions.

  • EEO exists to remedy real problems.

  • The problem is discrimination – the failure to treat equals equally.


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Origins of Affirmative Action

  • Kennedy Administration – Executive Order 10925 of March 6, 1961 required that “affirmative action” be used to implement the policy of nondiscrimination in employment by the federal government and its contractors.

    • Meant initially the removal of artificial employment barriers for women and minorities.


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Origins of Affirmative Action

  • Johnson Administration.

    • Civil Rights Act of 1964 – It shall be the policy of the United States to ensure equal employment opportunities for Federal employees.

    • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to combat discrimination in the private sector. Civil Service Commission for the public sector.


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Origins of Affirmative Action

  • Nixon Administration – Executive order requiring agency heads to “establish and maintain an affirmative action program of equal employment opportunity.”

    • Federal courts began to equate affirmative action with goals and timetables for minority hiring.


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The Case for Affirmative Action

  • Statistically-based. Lower median income, lower life expectancy, lower status occupations.

  • Disparities exist because of continuing patterns of discrimination.

  • Vigorous affirmative action program only way to get beyond adverse impact of systemic discrimination.

  • Affirmative action increases tolerance among individuals and productivity in organizations.


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The Case Against Affirmative Action

  • Simply stated: It is unfair. Racial and sexual preferences violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964 just as much racial and sexual barriers.

  • Affirmative action programs also have the effect of stigmatizing minority workers, who may have received the job on merit, but will be perceived as receiving it to meet a quota.

  • Compensatory benefits should be based on class, not race.


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Representative Bureaucracy

  • J. Donald Kingsley (1944).

  • Samuel Krislov (1967, 1974).

  • How could any bureaucracy have legitimacy and public credibility if it did not represent all sectors of its society?

  • Modern theoretical basis for EEO and affirmative action.


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Reverse Discrimination

  • Reverse discrimination is a practice generally understood to mean discrimination against white males in conjunction with preferential treatment for women and minorities.

  • Practice has no legal standing.

  • Yet, affirmative action programs do necessarily put white males at a disadvantage.


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Reverse Discrimination

  • Court cases.

    • DeFunis v. Odegaard, 1974 – Law school – Admitted – Moot.

    • Regents of the University of California v. Allan Bakke, 1978 – upheld Bakke’s claim that he was denied equal protection because he was refused admission to UC Davis Medical School because of 16 minority set asides. But school could take race into account. UC ultimately abandoned affirmative action in 1997.


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Reverse Discrimination

  • Court cases.

    • United Steelworkers of America v. Weber, et al., 1979 – Court upheld an affirmative action program giving blacks preferences in the selection of employees for a training program.

    • Johnson v. Santa Clara County, 1987, - upheld an affirmative action program that promoted a woman ahead of objectively more qualified men.


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Reverse Discrimination

  • Race has always been a hot button topic in American politics, but affirmative action worked as long as it had broad public support.

  • But, beginning in 1990 with the election between Jesse Helms and Harvey Gantt, a sea change in opinion occurred.


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Reverse Discrimination

  • Most (white) elected politicians now actively campaign against affirmative action.

  • Support for affirmative action has fallen to 25 percent among whites, 22 percent among Hispanics, and 18 percent among Asians.

  • California Proposition 209 (1996).

    • http://vote96.ss.ca.gov/Vote96/html/BP/209.htm.


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Sex Discrimination

  • Any disparate or unfavorable treatment of a person in a employment situation because of his or her gender. Prohibited by Civil Rights Act of 1964, except as a bona fide occupational qualification.

  • Not a significant concern of original supports of Civil Rights Act.


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Sex Discrimination

  • Actually added as bill killer by Congressman Howard Smith (VA), Chair of Rules Committee.

  • Passed anyway. Became major component and most successful provision of Act.

  • Today, for all legal purposes, sex discrimination includes sexual harassment.


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Sexual Harassment

  • The action of an individual in a position to control or influence the job, career, or grade of another person and who uses such power to gain sexual favors or punish the refusal of such favors. Varies from inappropriate sexual innuendo to coerced sexual relations.

  • Courts have only gradually developed standards.

  • First of several law suits – Paulette Barnes in EPA, 1974.


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Sexual Harassment

  • EEOC guidelines.

    • Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

      • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;

      • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or.

      • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.


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Sexual Harassment

  • First U.S. Supreme Court case – Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 1986.

    • Sexual harassment is a violation of Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964 on basis of EEOC categories.

  • Sexual harassment remains a continuing problem.


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Pregnancy Discrimination

  • 1978 amendment to Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related condition.

    • Cannot exclude people on the basis of pregnancy.

    • Disabilities caused by pregnancy will be treated like other disabilities.


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Age Discrimination

  • Ageism is discrimination against those who are considered old.

  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 as amended. Prohibits age discrimination and in most cases mandatory retirement.

    • Applies to all public employers, all private employers of 20 people or over, employment agencies serving covered employers, and labor unions with 25 people or over.

  • May not use age in advertisements.


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Disabilities Discrimination

  • Disabled veterans after Civil War, wives of disable veterans after World War I.

  • Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – federal contractors and subcontractors had to make affirmative action to seek out qualified handicapped individuals.


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Disabilities Discrimination

  • Definition of handicapped: Any person who

    • 1. Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities;

    • 2. Has a record of such an impairment; or

    • 3. Is regarded as having such an impairment.

  • A qualified handicapped individual with respect to employment is one who with reasonable accommodation can perform the essential functions of a job in question.


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Disabilities Discrimination

  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

    • Comprehensive federal law to ban discrimination against physically and mentally handicapped individuals in employment, transportation, telecommunications, and public accommodations.

    • No covered entity shall discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability because of the disability of such individual in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.


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Disabilities Discrimination

  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

    • Covers all employers with 15 or more employees, new buses and trains, telephone companies, renovated or new hotels, stores, and restaurants, removal of existing barriers.

    • Accommodations that are too costly or disruptive excluded.

    • Disability includes alcoholism and drug abuse if under treatment.


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Disabilities Discrimination

  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

    • Also may include infectious diseases.

    • Employers may not ask about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability nor require a medical examination until an conditional offer of employment has been made.

    • Employers must demonstrate that rejection is job-related and that the essential functions of the job cannot be performed with reasonable accommodation.


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Public Administration and Social Equity

  • All public administrators have an obvious obligation to advance social equity, but it can be done in several ways.

    • Administer laws in a fair manner.

    • Seek to hire and advance a varied workforce.

    • Moral leadership.


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