Workplace DEI Programs (Post SCOTUS ruling)

Hello, and welcome to LegalEase. Today’s topic is about the status of Workplace DEI programs. What’s the status? Are they legal? Let’s talk about it.

All right, so we all know that the US Supreme Court recently issued a ruling saying that two college admissions programs violated the 14th Amendment because they were  stereotyping by using race as a basis for admission. The Court, basically, ruled that affirmative action programs cannot be used in college admissions.  

The court did not address workplace DEI programs. What do I mean when I refer to DEI? Diversity, equity, and inclusion programs that many companies have in place to attract and retain diverse candidates.  After the Supreme Court ruling, the EEOC Chair issued a bulletin saying that it is still lawful for employers to use diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in its workplace programs. However,  to the contrary, the EEOC Commissioner wrote that poorly structured corporate programs run the risk of legal challenges. Finally, we know that 13 Attorneys General from across various states sent letters to Fortune 100 companies telling them that regardless of what you call it – DEI or affirmative action –  discrimination in the workplace is illegal.

Due to the inconsistent writings and opinions, companies are confused about  DEI programs. Are DEI programs in the workplace still valid? The answer is yes. Those programs are still valid, and studies still show that companies that have a diverse workforce typically do better financially. There are benefits to having DEI programs, but it is important for employers to structure those programs in a way that either prohibits or prevents unnecessary challenges or in a way that allows companies to defend challenges.

In our next segment, we will discuss ways to structure DEI programs. For now, just know that DEI programs are legal. Companies can implement them or maintain the DEI programs  already in place.

Thank you for joining LegalEase. If you have any questions about your DEI program, feel free to request a consultation on our website. Our link is always in the bio.