Two weeks after civil rights lawyers filed a complaint with the U.S. Labor Department that graduate students working as employees should be covered by the University of California’s federal contractor-mandated affirmative action plan, California Assembly Democrats have urged UC to postpone its ban on affirmative action admissions. Assembly Speaker Cruz Bustamente asked UC to delay the ban until it can be determined by labor officials if such a change in policy would violate federal law. In a letter to UC, Bustamente and 56 other Democrats wrote, “We strongly believe that the university, as a recipient of over $1.3 billion from the federal government, must seriously reevaluate the decision to move forward with a policy that may violate federal laws.”
UC officials say that the graduate admission process has already begun and that applicants are being considered without regard to race, gender, or ethnic origin. The ban on affirmative action in undergraduate admissions will not take effect for another year.