Senior political advisor Stephen Miller is busier than ever since the leaving the Trump administration. Miller is squaring his sights on companies that hire and promote based on factors like race and gender.
The result? Some companies are scaling back their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs. Others are looking to scrap DEI programs altogether.
Miller’s organization, America First Legal (AFL), has filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against some of the biggest companies that focus on hiring more women and minorities at the expense of white men (and women, to a lesser degree). The firms facing discrimination complaints from AFL are some of the biggest in America – McDonald’s, Macy’s and Salesforce.
And now IBM is facing a civil rights complaint brought by AFL “for racially discriminating against white and Asian Americans and promising to fire, demote, or deny bonuses to corporate executives who fail to meet their illegal race and sex-based hiring quotas.” IBM CEO and board chairman Arvind Krishna speaks frankly about threatening to punish company executives who don’t adhere to IBM’s racial quotas in a video that went viral in early December.
The Los Angeles Times notes how some businesses are walking back DEI policies in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College earlier this year. While the case focused on higher education, many legal analysts warn the decision sets a new precedent for businesses too.
In recent months, “law firms Morrison & Foerster and Perkins Coie have eliminated their diversity requirements for fellowship programs, a common tool for recruiting from underrepresented groups … [and] pharmaceutical giant Pfizer removed race-related requirements from a similar fellowship program [even though] a suit challenging it had been dismissed,” according to the Times.
Hiring managers being told not to accept white job candidates
The DEI movement has prompted many companies to cast aside white male and female job candidates. About 1 in 6 HR professionals admit they’ve been explicitly told not to hire whites, according to a ResumeBuilder survey.
Hiring managers need to keep in mind this type of practice amounts to reverse discrimination, defined as “unfair treatment of members of the majority group in a workplace based on race, gender, national origin, etc.” It’s illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal and state laws.