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WASHINGTON – Today, in response to a letter sent by Republican Attorneys General to Fortune 100 companies which stated that engaging in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs could be a form of discrimination, Democratic Attorneys General appropriately sent those same companies their own letter clarifying that “corporate efforts to recruit diverse workforces and create inclusive work environments are legal and reduce corporate risk for claims of discrimination.” Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement:

“The letter issued by some Republican Attorneys General to Fortune 100 companies overstated the reach of the Supreme Court’s recent affirmative action decision. That ruling addressed race-conscious college admissions programs at UNC Chapel Hill and Harvard and nothing else. While the Court’s ruling significantly pared back the circumstances in which race can be used in higher education admissions, it did not end all consideration of race in the admissions context, and it definitely did not change employment law.

We commend Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford and the more than 20 state Attorneys General for strongly condemning the anti-diversity letter, and recognizing the ongoing need for robust workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts given the significant barriers Black workers and other workers of color continue to face in accessing employment opportunities.

Unlike the letter from the 13 Republican Attorneys General, which attempts to intimidate, cause confusion, and mislead for apparently political reasons, the Nevada Attorney General’s letter provides accurate, helpful information about employers’ existing legal obligations under civil rights laws, clarifying that the Harvard and UNC decision ‘does not prohibit, or even impose new limits on, the ability of private employers to pursue diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.’The Nevada Attorney General’sletter is consistent with our own analysis of the workplace implications of the affirmative action decisions. 

The Lawyers’ Committee urges companies to not retreat from their DEI efforts and to pursue all that is possible under the law to achieve these goals, which remain lawful and imperative to fulfilling the purposes of the civil rights laws. We are committed to working with allied stakeholders, including leaders in the higher education, corporate, and non-profit fields, as well as state attorneys general, to ensure equal opportunity in the workplace.”

For more information and resources, visit our affirmative action webpage.


About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under LawThe Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visit