Anne-Marie, a 28-year-old black woman, and Helen, a 32-year-old white woman, both apply for a job as a waitress with a particular outlet of a large restaurant chain. Both woman have approximately five years’ experience as waitresses and both are willing to work weekends. Helen, who had a high school education, does much better on the aptitude tests which the chain uses as part of its hiring policies than Anne-Marie, who had only a public school education. Anne-Marie is also enrolled in a government programme to upgrade her working skills. Anne-Marie is married but has no children, while Helen, recently widowed, is the mother of two young boys. The chain management, in response to recent government pressure, has instituted an affirmative action policy. At present, at the outlet where Anne-Marie and Helen have applied there are about 10 per cent minority employees. The goal of the affirmative action programme is to have 20 per cent minority employees. Individual franchises are allowed considerable flexibility in implementing the programme. The branch manager decides, in this instance, to comply with management’s general affirmative action policy and hires AnneMarie. Helen, who is unable to find employment, is forced to apply for public assistance in order to support herself and her two small children. Did the branch manager do the morally right thing?