What is equal employment opportunity?

Equal employment opportunity requires that all individuals be treated equally with regard to all employment actions. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender identity and expression, disability, genetic information, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, military service, protected veteran status, and any other legally protected status. It ensures that all applicants and employees, regardless of their protected characteristics, have a fair opportunity in the hiring process and in competing for promotions and have equal access to educational training and professional development opportunities.

What is affirmative action?

Affirmative action requires employers to take affirmative steps to recruit, employ, train and promote qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and protected veterans. Affirmative action attempts to compensate for past discriminatory practices by requiring employers to engage in “good faith efforts” to expand outreach and recruitment of traditionally underrepresented classes.

Does affirmative action require quotas? Does affirmative action mean that we are applying different standards for women and minorities?

No, affirmative action does not allow quotas or extending preferences to any individual. Merit selection procedures are not superseded by affirmative action.  Affirmative action is simply a set of focused procedures and good faith efforts, which an employer carries out to ensure that equal employment opportunities are provided for all employees and applicants.

For whom is affirmative action taken?

Rutgers must undertake affirmative action for minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans.

Why am I asked to identify demographic information such as my gender, race/ethnicity, veteran status and disability status?

Rutgers is a federal contractor, which means it receives funds from the federal government, and is subject to federal affirmative action regulations. All federal contractors are required to collect demographic information from its employees and applicants to prepare an annual plan that documents its efforts to ensure equal employment opportunity. Your voluntary provision of demographic data allows Rutgers to engage in critical analysis of the workforce and personnel processes that are crucial to the fulfillment of our goals of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action.

Which laws require Rutgers to collect demographic information?

As a federal contractor, Rutgers is subject to Presidential Executive Order 11246 and the regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Rutgers is also required to file annual reports with the DOL and the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) containing summary data about its employees.

Who has access to demographic information?

Rutgers treats all individual demographic information as confidential, consistent with applicable law. The information is used solely for reporting purposes. Rutgers does not use this information for any hiring or employment purposes.

Could Rutgers choose not to collect demographic information and decline to report it to the federal government?

Rutgers’ failure to collect and report demographic information could result in the loss of eligibility for government funding, including research funds, which would be very costly to the institution.