This past June, the U.S. Supreme Court found that affirmative-action elements of collegiate admissions programs were unconstitutional. Although the ruling only addressed higher education, the impacts of the ruling echoed through the business world. Weeks later, 13 state Attorneys General issued a “warning letter” to top U.S. companies, advising that it may be illegal to make hiring decisions based on race or gender. Other related lawsuits have since been filed against businesses’ hiring and retention practices. Amid the legal backdrop, several recent reports suggest company commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) appear to be receding. All of this has prompted some businesses to seek guidance on how DE&I should be approached in 2023 and beyond.
The M Booth Issues & Crisis Management Team believes that strong, lasting, and legally-compliant commitments to DE&I should endure. These programs are good for employees, business, and society. But how should DE&I programs remain legally compliant? Are there tips companies should heed to maintain new best-practices that do not rely on “now outdated” precedents?
Our team has reviewed multiple expert-opinions and interviewed key colleagues in talent-strategy and employment law to provide a definitive summary, recommendation, and tips for organizations to remain within federal and state laws. Ultimately, the guidance will help to sustain a healthier workplace and bolster the company’s reputation with employees and outside stakeholders.
For a copy of this POV, please reach out directly to J.D. (JamesD@mbooth.com). Thank you!