Michael Moore of the Pennsylvania Employment Law Blog has an excellent post on the possibility of reverse discrimination when employers make decisions under the auspices of voluntary affirmative action plans, diversity programs, or even "risk management".  Michael says:

I am surprised by how many companies will select non-minority employees for layoff in a reduction in force or discipline believing that they have eliminated potential discrimination claims.   

His observation that our discrimination laws are written to prohibit employment decisions based on factors such as race, gender, age, religion, disability, etc. is often forgotten.  Employers must carefully follow the laws and regulations if they intend to implement an affirmative action or diversity program. 

FYI:  Michael’s blog was recently named # 3 in the HR Blog Power Rankings by the HR Capitalist.  A ranking well deserved in my opinion.