American Telephone and Telegraph Co., the nation's largest private employer, has often been assailed by civil rights and women's rights leaders, who charge that the company has lagged in hiring and promoting blacks and members of other minorities. Yet the 1964 Civil Rights Act expressly forbids any such discriminatory hiring policies by Government contractors like AT&T. Last week the General Services Administration, which monitors contractors' employment practices, worked out what it called a "landmark" agreement with AT&T. Under the new pact, the company will hire and advance thousands of women workers and minority-group members over the next 15 months.


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