An affirmative action plan sets principles for the recruiting, hiring and endorsement of women and minorities in order to remove the present effects of past employment discrimination. Private employers may set these policies to remedy the makeup of the workforce in a particular job categorization. Federal government contractors are required to uphold an affirmative action plan as a condition of the contract.
The foundation of a proper affirmative action plan includes that the plan is created to eliminate racial or sex-based imbalances in the workforce; it does not needlessly stomp on the interests of nonminority employees. It has flexible goals rather than strict quotas and takes into consideration normal workforce turnover, layoffs, new jobs and retirements.