Conservatives Use The Courts To Battle Corporate Diversity Practices

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Conservatives are focusing their legal efforts on challenging corporate diversity practices after securing a Supreme Court ruling against affirmative action, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Republican attorneys general sent letters to dozens of employers warning against violating the law by using racial preferences and quotas in July, and conservative legal groups have continued to file lawsuits against diversity policies, according to the WSJ. Conservatives argue that corporate diversity practices, like hiring quotas and programs that give preference to certain races, violate federal anti-discrimination laws.

An Atlanta-based investment manager, Fearless Fund, was sued August 2 over a grant program for black women by a nonprofit founded by Edward Blum, the same man who organized the lawsuits against Harvard and the University of North Carolina’s racial preferences in admissions.

The affirmative action ruling is changing how corporate executives, especially those who were uncomfortable with diversity programs from the start, view the risk of maintaining them, Angela Berg, who previously led global DEI practice at HR consulting firm Mercer, told the WSJ.

Multiple groups began filing lawsuits against company diversity practices before the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Four small business owners, backed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), sued Comcast in April 2022 over a program it offers for small businesses that are “at least 51% owned and operated by someone who identifies as Black, Indigenous, a Person of Color, or a female.”

Comcast abandoned the program in November 2022 and settled the lawsuit soon after, according to WILL. (RELATED: McDonalds Hit With Civil Rights Complaint For Allegedly Racist Hiring Practices)

RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 21: The Amazon Prime logo is displayed on the side of an Amazon delivery truck on June 21, 2023 in Richmond, California. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Amazon alleging that company has deceived millions of customers into signing up for Prime subscription services and intentionally complicated the cancellation process. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 21: The Amazon Prime logo is displayed on the side of an Amazon delivery truck on June 21, 2023 in Richmond, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

America First Legal (AFL) filed a lawsuit against Amazon in July 2022 on behalf of a resident of Denton County, Texas, who is challenging a company program that awards a $10,000 bonus to delivery-service contractors who are black, Latino or Native American. The National Center for Public Policy Research, a Starbucks shareholder, sued the company in August 2022 for “violating their fiduciary duties” by implementing “illegal, discriminatory policies.”

AFL has been asking the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to open civil rights investigations into companies for their hiring practices, including McDonald’s, Mars, Inc., Starbucks and Anheuser-Busch since before the Supreme Court’s ruling.

A number of corporations filed an amicus brief last year in the affirmative action case, which Manhattan Institute Policy Analyst Renu Mukherjee previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation “suggests they might be concerned that their affirmative action programs are likely [to] receive scrutiny next.”

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