Legal Topics Related to Recent Diversity Initiatives

Perkins Coie

The recent focus on social justice, coupled with the #MeToo movement created several years ago, has pushed companies to make bold efforts related to diversity and inclusion. Those efforts have taken many forms as companies seek creative ways to ensure more inclusive workplaces. In addition, groups of employees have placed gender and racial equity backed up by hard commitments—at the top of their agendas. However, responding to those efforts creates risks for companies, ranging from reverse discrimination claims to government efforts targeted at restricting diversity initiatives.

I. Goal-Setting Legal Guardrails for Companies -

Many companies have turned to hard commitments to drive their diversity and inclusion efforts. However, those commitments come with risks if they do not take into account the complex tests related to the legal landscape and balance the interests of the entire workforce. Recent actions by the government questioning these commitments have raised the stakes, and companies must strike a balance when thinking about how far they can go to set and meet their commitments. Below, we identify the types of commitments made by companies across several industries, summarize the legal landscape and describe how employers can reduce the legal risks associated with these efforts...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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