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Introduction and Background

OFCCP's introduction of the affirmative action

program requirement contained in title 41 CFR 60-2,

issued December 1, 1971, parallels the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Griggs v. Duke Power Company

Duke Power Company as

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cation of that basic standard of proof that class-wide

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example, CFR 60-2.1 (b) provides that:

Relief for members of an "affected class" who, by virtue of past discrimination, continue to suffer the present effects of that

discrimination must either be included in
the contractor's affirmative action program
or be embodied in a separate written "cor-
rective action" program.

An "affected
class" problem must be remedied in order
for a contractor to be considered in

However, the beginnings of a systematic method by en

forcing compliance with that obligation did not take shape until after May 1974 when the work force analysis

provision of 60-2.11(a) was incorporated in the regu

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remedial principles and concepts in that, as set forth

in 60-2.10, 2.11, and 2.12(e), their objective is to

minorities and women at those levels and segments of

the work force from which they have been excluded by

custom and tradition.

As they apply to supply and service contractors

affirmative action program goals, timetables, and pro

cedures have their origin in a cooperative arrangement

in the 1960's between OFCCP and Plans for Progress, an

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In 1968, with the assistance of key OFCC staff,

the coordinating group published for guidance in preparing individual plans, the document, "Guidelines for

Affirmative Action," which contained provisions on

goals and timetables and action-oriented implementing

standards and procedures.

Simultaneously OFCC incor

porated in its basic regulations an authorizing pro

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at labor areas, skill levels of the positions they

were filling, and the type of training programs that

could be devised.

Then the contractor was asked,

"Given these variables, how many minorities are you

able to hire and promote?"

The Potomac Institute, in a 1973 study, looked

back on this period.

It found that it was "probably

partly an exercise in political pragmatism, allowing

OFCCP, in theory, to push harder than Congress--and

skeptical public opinion--might allow if aims were spe


Partly too, it was held that to define affirma

tive action exactly would limit it, in that affirmative

action programs are limited only by the initiative and


imagination of the people developing them.

Responding to the needs of compliance agencies, con

tractors and minority groups for more specificity, OFCCP refined the then existing definition of affirmative action

and the methodology for developing goals and timetables


Affirmative Action: The Unrealized Goal: Wash

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