When companies aim to combat inequity by implementing new hiring or advancement policies, there are some risks involved. What started with good intentions to improve diversity and inclusion in an organization could potentially result in a lawsuit for reverse discrimination.
Maryelena Zaccardelli, senior director of affirmative action and contractor compliance with Milwaukee-based law firm Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, said one of the best ways a company can protect itself from legal liability in this arena is by drawing up an affirmative action plan aligned with employment law.
An affirmative action plan is a framework for seeking to include or advance demographic groups that have been historically underrepresented. Companies or organizations can pursue the plans voluntarily, but businesses that contract with some government entities are obligated to abide by federal affirmative action guidelines.
Experts say there are several steps a company should take when voluntarily crafting their plan.
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