Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

No Quick Study

September 01, 1986

The Reagan Administration is hardly a quick study on the subject of programs to combat discrimination in the workplace. The National Assn. of Manufacturers told the government that it can live quite nicely, thank you, with existing affirmative actions required to win federal contracts. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the concept of hiring goals to combat past discrimination. The White House still doesn't get it.

Since at least August, 1985, Atty. Gen. General Edwin Meese III has been tugging the President one way and Labor Secretary William E. Brock III the other. Meese wants to scrap the executive order requiring companies to commit themselves to reach certain goals in hiring and to promote women and minorities as a condition of obtaining federal contracts. Brock wants to keep the order, arguing rightly that such goals have expanded the job market, that employers have learned to live with and even benefit from the order, and that changes would only create new uncertainties.

At least we now know one reason the picture remains fuzzy for President Reagan--it is fuzzy for his chief adviser, presidential chief of staff Donald T. Regan. In an interview a week ago Regan said, "What we're trying to do is go along on the previous rule until such time as we can see what the (Supreme Court) has definitely said and then see if there's a need to change those rules.

It causes confusion in the minds of employers, it causes confusion in the minds of government agencies involved if the President says one thing and the court comes out a month of two later and says something else."

The Supreme Court was clear. The business community understands. The civil-rights community certainly understands. Only the President and his White House advisers do not.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|