Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, there has been in increase in litigation challenging employers’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies and practices. In one recent example, however, a conversative panel of judges in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an argument that a mandatory diversity training constituted unlawful discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.Continue Reading 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms that Mandatory Diversity Training does not Constitute Unlawful Discrimination

In our ever-evolving world, fostering cultural sensitivity is paramount for minimizing legal risks and creating inclusive, respectful work environments. Language plays a crucial role in shaping our perceptions, and unfortunately, some words used in everyday conversation may perpetuate stereotypes and contribute to cultural insensitivity. As employers gear up for the new year, they should consider abandoning the following words and phrases. Encouraging their employees to do the same will help create more inclusive work environments and mitigate the risk of discrimination claims brought by members of their workforce.Continue Reading Cultivating Cultural Sensitivity in the Workplace: Words to Leave Behind in 2024

On the heels of the United States Supreme Court’s decision limiting affirmative action in college admissions, we have seen an increase in workers who do not belong to historically underrepresented demographic groups filing lawsuits challenging their employers’ diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs.[1] As a result, some businesses may wonder: Are our DEI efforts worth the legal risk? For most businesses, the consensus answer appears to be “yes.”Continue Reading Still “Business as Usual”: Recent Challenges to Company DEI Efforts

What is caste and caste discrimination?

“Caste” or a “caste system” is a social hierarchy passed down through families and can dictate an individual’s permissible professions as well as aspects of their social life, including whom they can marry.[1] It exists in a variety of ways, but for purposes of defining a legally protected class, it most directly relates to persons of South Asian descent. Importantly, however, an individual’s race or religion is not a caste, and caste and race/religion should not be equated or conflated.[2]Continue Reading An Emerging Protected Class: Caste Discrimination in the United States

When the pandemic hit, many employees began working remotely. Even now, post-pandemic, many employers have maintained flexible work options for employees. With remote working increasing, many employers are grappling with new ways to create a workplace community that can flourish in the new remote work reality. One strategy is the creation of Employee Resource Groups (“ERGs”).Continue Reading Leveraging the Power of Employee Resource Groups While Mitigating Risk: A Practical Guide

Despite New York City’s already extensive anti-discrimination laws, the New York City Council recently passed a bill outlawing discrimination based on weight and height. Further, the City Council is considering various bills that significantly broaden protected categories for which discrimination is prohibited.Continue Reading NYC Employers Take Note – New and Proposed Anti-Discrimination Laws Coming Your Way