Thursday, November 30, 2023

SCOTUS Affirmative Action Ruling Puts Corporate DEI Programs under Scrutiny

'They'll try to hid behind other factors... '

(Robert Jonathan, Headline USA) A U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission official is suggesting that the Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling provides a perhaps different kind of wake-up call for woke corporations that are pushing divisive diversity, equity and inclusion policies that could be illegal.

During a Fox News interview, Trump-appointed Commissioner Andrea Lucas opined that the high-court decision striking down racial preferences on campus brings “into alignment education law with employment law.”

Last week, in the companion Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. UNC. cases, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that race-based student admissions criteria at colleges and universities were unconstitutional under the Equal Protections Clause of the 14th Amendment.

The Biden administration immediately condemned the outcome, and it appears that universities from Harvard on down might be planning to exploit perceived loopholes to continue the existing cosmetic diversity protocol.

“Universities may try to pivot into decisions that are not as overtly based on race,” Lucas noted. “They’ll try to hid behind other factors,” but in so doing, that eliminates “everything that actually makes people diverse and unique.”

Along those lines, ex-Trump administration senior advisor Stephen Miller, the president of American First Legal, put law schools, in particular, on notice that the organization will hold them accountable for any attempts to circumvent the ruling.

Insofar as the 6-3 decision’s potential impact on business, Lucas said that  “I think this is gonna be a wake-up call for employers,” and recommended that lawyers should “take a really hard look at the lawfulness of their corporate diversity programs.”

She added that “Even though many employers don’t use the word affirmative action, it’s rampant today, from ESG, to focuses on equity. Pretty much everywhere, there’s a ton of pressure at the corporate 100 across corporate America to take race-conscious decision-making, race-conscious actions, in employment law, and that’s been illegal, and it’s still illegal.”

ESG stands for environmental, social, and corporate governance, a form of globalist woke capitalism involving typically unprofitable, far-left initiatives that major investors have forced on corporations.

Commissioner Lucas implied that the Supreme Court precedent could prompt more litigation even in the employment arena from adversely affected employees.

“I have noticed an increasing number of challenges to corporate DEI programs, and I would expect that this decision is going to shine even more of a spotlight about how out of alignment some of those programs are.”

Lucas mentioned that she’s not leveling criticism at diversity programs across the board, but some of them could lead to lawsuits.

“But to the extent that they’re explicitly or implicitly taking race into decision-making for employment decisions, race-restricted internships, race-restricted mentoring, race-focused promotion decisions, etc. —

“If you’re using race as any factor in your decision-making, you’re already violating the law, and I expect that you are going to have a rising amount of challenges as this sort of raises that issue back to people’s attention.”

In a Reuters Op-Ed, Lucas similarly cautioned that “Poorly structured voluntary diversity programs pose both legal and practical risks for companies. Those risks existed before the Supreme Court’s decision today. Now they may be even higher.”

Through life experience, many employees have learned that hiring, promotion and termination decisions can sometimes be arbitrary or unfair; including race into the calculation just makes that kind of scenario significantly more unreasonable if not discriminatory.

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