Use Voluntary Diversity Goals as Effective Tools, Not Legal Land Mines

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In response to mounting pressure from all sides, employers are racing to implement robust diversity, engagement, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives. Increasingly, employers are placing a greater emphasis on establishing goals to address underrepresentation of females and minorities in the workforce. Voluntary hiring and/or promotion goals are an effective diversity tool if properly implemented. When goals are treated as quotas, however, employers will find themselves facing significant legal liability.

Use Goals, Not Quotas

To be legally compliant, goals should not be treated as rigid “quotas” but rather as aspirational targets. However, Title VII and Executive Order 11246 prohibit employment

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