Affirmative Action: A Robin Hood Hiring in Federally Aided Construction

Executive Order 11246, promulgated in September 1965, requires that all federal financial aid applicants incorporate into construction contracts and sub-contracts the same guarantees of equal employment opportunity that are required of parties in a direct contractual relationship with the government. Each contractor must “take affirmative action to ensure that [job] applicants are employed… and treated during employment” in a nondiscriminatory manner and must guarantee that his subcontractors will also take such affirmative action. Responsibility for enforcement of the Order was delegated to the newly-established Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCC). The OFCC drafted guidelines 6 requiring contractors and major subcontractors to submit pre-award plans of affirmative action that would “have the result of assuring… minority group representation in all trades… and in all phases of the work.” Weiner v. Cuyahoga Community College is the first case in which the validity of these guidelines has been contested.