On June 29, the US Supreme Court delivered its long-awaited decision on the consideration of race in undergraduate college admissions in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina. The ruling, which declared it unlawful for public institutions and private institutions that receive government funds to base admission decisions on an applicant’s race, has prompted a cascade of actions by advocacy groups and individuals directly challenging corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives as unlawful discrimination. At the same time, pro-DEI groups argue that the Supreme Court’s decision has little application to business DEI efforts.
The challenges directed at businesses involve employment practices, contracting practices, and scholarships and grants. They have been advanced through:
- The filing of individual and class action lawsuits;
- State attorney general and government agency letters and complaints; and
- Warning letters from activist groups.
Facing demands both to implement and to roll back DEI initiatives, companies are examining their existing strategies in this changing legal landscape. Please join Marcia Goodman and Andrew Pincus as they delve into the Court's ruling and its potential implications for your business.