The (Un)fairness of Employment Quotas

In an attempt to be fair to arbitrarily defined groups of people, I believe employment quotas end up being unfair across the board. I use the phrase "arbitrarily defined" because I truly would like to believe we live in a society where physical, mental, or genetic traits shouldn't stand in the way of a person's opportunity to prove he or she is qualified to do a job. That said, I do agree that it's appropriate for the government to require companies receiving government contracts to hire a specific number of disabled workers, as is discussed in today's article by Dr. Richard Alaniz.

If the government is providing a certain amount of money to its contractors, there's an implied opportunity to dictate some of the ways in which that money should be spent, and employment quotas can certainly be part of the requirement, right along with rules for meeting quality guidelines, OSHA requirements, and so on. But is it fair to the tax-paying and government-benefits-receiving public to enforce requirements that could result in greater unemployment for qualified workers? Is it fair to require employers to enhance their workforce with employees who might not have the qualifications to do a job, thus requiring a larger than necessary payroll, thus causing higher prices for the end consumers, in order to keep those government contracts? Of course it's fair - if you want the government contract, you play by the government rules. On the flip side, where is the fairness to the workers who are categorized as those who are required to be employed? I wouldn't want a job knowing that my employer only hired me because of a government requirement. I'd never be able to trust my relationship with my employer as being one in which we are both benefitting equally. I'm probably being really naive about this issue, and, at the very least, I know I'm confused, so feel free to set me straight.

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Caleb Newquist is the Editor-in-Chief of Sift Media US, overseeing content for both AccountingWEB and Going Concern.

Prior to this role, Caleb served as the editor of Going Concern since its founding in 2009. During his time as editor, Going Concern quickly became one of the most popular and talked about websites in the accounting profession. He has been named one of Accounting Today's Top 100 Most Influential People every year since 2011 and has been published on numerous websites, including Above the Law, Deadspin, Denver Business Journal, and the Huffington Post.

Caleb is an adjunct professor of journalism the Community College of Denver in Denver, Colorado, where he teaches Internet Media.

Prior to falling bass ackwards into the media business, Caleb spent over five years working in public accounting, with more than three of those years at KPMG. Caleb received a Master of Science in Accounting from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Caleb spends a lot of time on a bicycle and reading, but never at the same time.

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