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What Is Prop 16?

What Is Prop 16?

Prop 16 would reverse California’s ban on affirmative action

What Is Prop 16?

As in most election years, Californians will have an opportunity to vote on a number of ballot initiatives this year. These ballot initiatives are an important way for voters to have their voices heard. Yet often times, it can be confusing to figure out exactly what a ballot measure will do, who is behind these propositions, and whether you should vote yes or no on the measure.

This is the case with Proposition 16, a ballot measure that asks voters to respond “yes” or “no” to the question:

Should California and local government entities be allowed to consider diversity as a factor in public employment, education, and contracting decisions?

As a California employment discrimination attorney can explain, this measure is intended to reverse Prop 209, which generally banned public agencies from considering race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. Prop 209 was approved in 1996, and is widely considered to be a ban on affirmative action by public entities.

Prop 16 is on the November ballot because more than 2/3 of state lawmakers voted in favor of it. If it is approved by voters, then universities, government offices and other public entities could consider a person’s race, sex, color, national origin, or ethnicity in making hiring, spending and admissions decisions. The vote to put Prop 16 on the ballot was motivated by lawmakers’ recognition that racial inequalities persist in California. One of the primary reasons for the ballot measure is to ensure that Black, Latino and Native American students can access the University of California system. While Black and Latino students make up 60% of all high school students in California, in 2019, just 28% of all UC freshman admissions went to Black or Latino students. With Prop 16, the government would also be able to set goals and track how many contracts are awarded to businesses that are owned by women and minorities.

Prop 16 is supported by California Community Colleges, the University of California, California State University, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and Governor Newsom. It is opposed by Students for Fair Admissions, Californians for Equal Rights, the Chinese American Civic Action Alliance, and the California Republican Party.

As California employment discrimination attorneys, we know that discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, and/or national origin continues to be a widespread problem in workplaces throughout the state. This discrimination can take all forms — and almost anyone can be subjected to illegal discrimination. For example, just as a Black employee can be discriminated against on the basis of his race, a white employee may also experience race-based discrimination at work. Similarly, both men and women can be subjected to discrimination on the basis of their sex.

The decision to vote “yes” or “no” on Prop 16 is a personal one. At PLBSH, we encourage you to thoroughly examine the issue, and then exercise your fundamental right to vote this fall.

If believe that you have been discriminated against in violation of California or federal law, we can help. Our team of experienced California employment discrimination attorneys is dedicated to helping people who face injustice in the workplace. Contact us today at (800) 435-7542 or info@plbsh.com to schedule a consultation.

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