Employers of all sizes and in all industries recognize the wide-ranging benefits of fostering and maintaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.
Such a workplace helps employers attract and retain the most talented employees, improves employee morale and retention, and helps employees feel more connected to one another and their work. The result is a more talented, engaged and committed workforce.
Moreover, the ability to draw on a variety of perspectives to solve problems enhances innovation and creativity and helps businesses be responsive to the needs of their employees, partners, customers and communities.
The team at Mayer Brown is here to help. Successfully developing and implementing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) program, and responding to DEI-related issues, often gives rise to business, legal and practical challenges. Mayer Brown lawyers draw on the firm's global reach and extensive experience to help businesses craft practical strategies and solutions that minimize risk and advance each client's unique values and needs.
Members of our team are also involved in the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and serve in leadership roles in committees across the Americas, Asia and Europe. View Mayer Brown’s diversity and inclusion philosophy, mission statement and initiatives.
We regularly provide strategic counseling to companies on the development of policies and procedures to address DEI issues and help companies craft and implement successful DEI programs. We also help clients analyze their current employee DEI-related metrics, identify areas for improvement (such as recruitment and retention), and develop and implement necessary changes.
Environmental, Social and Governance.
A diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace is becoming a top focus for human resources management from an environmental, social and governance (ESG) and non-financial reporting perspective. Diversity and inclusion are one key aspect of the evolving social dimension of ESG and the respective regulations. We have extensive experience guiding clients through this increasingly complex and developing landscape.
- Discrimination and harassment
- Respect in the workplace and workplace bullying
- Unconscious bias
- Effective communication techniques
- Inclusive workplace development
Our highly experienced workplace investigations team conducts thorough, insightful and discreet investigations and—where appropriate—identifies internal policies, procedures or practices that may have been misapplied or unenforced. We routinely detail steps that a company should—or must—take to prevent future occurrences and recommend remedial actions to regain trust and demonstrate accountability to employees, clients and the general public.
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP Audits and Compliance)
We have extensive experience advising companies on affirmative action obligations applicable to US federal government contractors and represent companies in Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) audit proceedings.
We are skilled at defending employers against all manner of employment-discrimination and harassment complaints, both in court and before administrative agencies.
- We are advising a global manufacturer about processing its employees’ diversity and inclusion data in more than 50 jurisdictions, including the development of an online tool to facilitate communication and ongoing access to data for the global team.
- We have advised an international insurance provider on introducing diversity data gathering and sharing across its jurisdictions.
- We have audited gender treatment metrics for a French subsidiary of a global technology company and subsequently implemented the gender equality index required by French labor law. We update this index annually.
- We advised a global law firm on the introduction of proposed ethnicity targets for promotion/employment of partners.
Pay Equity Counseling, Analysis, and Litigation
- We successfully represented a global financial services firm in defending against allegations by several senior female employees that the firm’s promotion and pay structure indirectly or directly discriminated against women, resulting in lower promotion statistics, lower pay and less successful career paths than for men.
- We represented a financial services firm in defending against allegations that its pay practices had the effect of discriminating against African-American employees.
- We advise clients on compliance with laws requiring reporting of pay information in the US, UK, and globally.
We regularly work with clients to develop and present practical training materials for both supervisory and non-supervisory employees on a wide range of DEI issues. Recent client trainings include:
- Respect in the Workplace: Discrimination and Harassment
- Unconscious Bias
- Effective Communication Techniques & Becoming an Upstander
- Hong Kong Discrimination Ordinances
- Enhanced Benefits and Protection for Working Moms
- The Why and How for Embracing LGBT Diversity
- We investigated allegations of inappropriate behavior, including comments related to workplace diversity issues, by an employee of a Japanese corporation. After the investigation, we made a recommendation as to next steps with regard to the employee and trained the employee on appropriate workplace conduct.
- We conducted a workplace diversity investigation for a financial services client across Europe and Asia, using teams of employment lawyers based in our London and Hong Kong offices.
- We advised a client in relation to a harassment investigation in the UK, which included detailed advice in relation to its regulatory reporting obligations, working closely with members of the Mayer Brown regulatory group.
OFCCP Audits and Compliance
- We advised a Japanese corporation on its affirmative action obligations and drafted a successful challenge to jurisdiction of an OFCCP audit.
- We counseled and guided a global law firm in its response to routine OFCCP audits in the past year, including a focused review of the Chicago office and a full review of the New York office. This included responding to multiple requests for documents and information, preparing for and participating in interviews of law firm management employees, working with experts and interacting with OFCCP personnel. One of the audits successfully completed with a notice of closure, and the other audit is ongoing.
- We defended a multinational bank in a sexual discrimination claim with respect to employment terms, remuneration and promotion opportunities.
- We are defending a leading electric scooter company in putative class actions alleging Americans with Disabilities Act and state-law disability violations by both the company and municipalities involving access to sidewalks and related areas as a result of scooter usage.
- We defended a charge of discrimination for a skilled nursing facility before the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and are defending a lawsuit pending in federal court alleging claims of disability discrimination, failure to accommodate and retaliation.
Mayer Brown has been recognized by organizations worldwide for our diversity and inclusion initiatives. Highlights include: