Every Man for Himself

And every woman, as Washington tests a retreat from affirmative action

On the surface, the move seemed important but limited, the reaction utterly predictable. The Reagan Administration told companies employing some 7.5 million workers that it would no longer make them draw up detailed plans for hiring and promoting women and blacks, Hispanics and members of other minority groups. Civil rights activists denounced the step as a retreat from the Government's commitment to end race and sex discrimination. On the other hand, some employers grumbled that the Administration had not gone far enough toward its announced goals of reducing the burden of...

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