U.S. Supreme Court Has Not Foreclosed DEI Initiatives in Corporate America

Corporate Counsel
8 minute read | July.06.2023

  • Partners Erin Connell, Mike Delikat and Jill Rosenberg offer a roadmap to U.S. companies to retain their DEI programs in light of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Harvard and University of North Carolina affirmative action cases.
  • Their Corporate Counsel article advises companies to review and reanalyze the programs, practices and initiatives in place to ensure they are legally compliant, while still advancing the goal of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within America’s workforce.

In addition to focusing efforts on the retention of diverse employees, the article advises employers to take the following steps:

  • Conduct robust and privileged audits of DEI programs, policies and initiatives to ensure they do not go “too far” and are compliant with state and federal anti-discrimination law;
  • Focus on establishing diverse pipelines of well-qualified applicants by casting a wide net to reach individuals from a variety of backgrounds, including those who attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities, regional universities, and otherwise come from non-traditional backgrounds;
  • Review and revamp diversity and inclusion training programs with an eye towards reducing the risk of reverse discrimination claims; and
  • Review diverse slate protocols to ensure legal compliance and mitigate potential legal risk.