Complying with affirmative action laws can be fun
Dear Ely: I’m the senior partner of a law firm, and I’m in trouble. Our office is a very diverse workplace: we employ people of African, Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern, and even Native American descent. There’s one racial/ethnic group that isn’t represented on our payroll, though, and this is where the trouble lies. Our local White Rights Alliance – a group that promotes the interests of white people in our community – is threatening to sue us because we don’t employ any Caucasians. They allege that we’re not an equal opportunity employer, we’re neglecting our affirmative action responsibilities, and we’re racists. This is ridiculous. I’m not a racist boss – I have nothing against white people. I always hire the person most qualified for the job – and so far no white person has been the best candidate for any of the job openings we’ve had. And now I’m supposed to hire an incompetent white person just to meet some racial quota? This doesn’t make sense to me. What should I do?
Dear Leroy Lawyer,
If I were running a business, I would certainly hire the best person for the job, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or whatever other divisive label you can give to a person. To me, that’s what equal opportunity means: everyone has a fair chance, and the best candidate wins.
Of course, there’s no way to really prove to the outside world that you’re giving everyone an equal opportunity. All they can do is look at your employee roster and yell “Affirmative Action!” if any groups are underrepresented. It’s not a fair or logical way of judging your hiring practices – but as a lawyer I’m sure you know that there are many laws that are neither fair nor logical.
If I were you I would just play along with the affirmative action rules and save myself the headaches of fighting all the idiocy. Hire some goofy white bastard and get the White Rights Alliance off your back. Give him a newly-created unpleasant position: Stress-Relief Whipping Boy Level 1. Working in a law firm can be very stressful. Your lawyers and paralegals hold the fates of innocent people in their hands on a daily basis. Being a caring boss, you should provide them with a means to work off the stress. So hire a white devil, cover him in minimal body padding, and have him stand in an empty room. His only duty is to be readily available to accept the abuse of his colleagues as they release their tensions. At any time of the day, your employees can enter the room and yell at him, punch and kick him, strike him with their golf clubs, etc. They’ll be more relaxed and efficient workers, and a white person will have overcome discrimination to find a job. Everyone wins!
Peace, Love, and Equal Opportunities for All,
PS. If you have any advice for Leroy Lawyer or any experiences with affirmative action, leave a reply below!