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Affirmative action is the process of a business or governmental agency which it gives special rights of hiring or advancement to ethnic minorities to make up for past discrimination against that minority. Affirmative action has been the subject of legal battles on the basis that it is reverse discrimination against Caucasians, but in most challenges to affirmative action, the programs have been upheld. Affirmative action may be used as the basis for awarding a certain percentage of public contracts to minority-owned firms or granting preferences in enrollment at educational institutions to minoirty students.
The contents of both voluntary and mandatory affirmative action plans are essentially the same. The Office of Federal Compliance Programs (OFCCP) oversees the administration of plans for private entities which are government contractors under either a construction or non-construction contract.