The Supreme Court’s recent decision on affirmative action in the SFFA v. Harvard/UNC cases has raised lots of questions for private employers. Specifically, private employers want to know what impact – if any – does the Court’s decision have on DEI programs? The short answer is not much, if any.Continue Reading Understanding the Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Decision: What it Means for Private Employers’ DEI Programs

On June 29, 2023, in a 6-3 decision authored by Chief Justice Roberts, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, the U.S. Supreme Court (“Court” or “Supreme Court”) held that college and university race-conscious admission decisions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment (“the Harvard-UNC Decision”). The specifics of the race-conscious admissions process used by these higher education institutions and the Supreme Court’s opinion is more fully discussed in Husch Blackwell’s recent post, Supreme Court Prohibits Consideration of Race in College Admissions. The majority and concurring opinions, though, have prompted speculation about the decision’s potential impact on federal contractors subject to affirmative action obligations to provide equal employment opportunities to minorities and women under Executive Order 11246 as well as on employers that have voluntarily adopted diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. While the Harvard-UNC Decision addressed racial preferences as opposed to affirmative action to ensure equal employment opportunities, the decision provides federal contractors and private employers with some guideposts for lawful implementation of affirmative action and DEI practices.Continue Reading Federal Contractors and Employers with DEI Initiatives: Three Takeaways from SCOTUS Decision Striking Down Racial Preferences