David K. Haase Comments on Legal Hazards of Diversity Policies

"The Legal Pitfalls of Diversity Policies," Law.com

As workplace diversity policies become more standard, employers are increasingly being faced with legal challenges in their attempts to develop diverse workforces. In his article, "The Legal Pitfalls of Diversity Policies," Littler Mendelson's David Haase writes that, although diversity policies are becoming more common, "There is little legal authority directly addressing the issues such policies raise." Courts have heard claims of "reverse discrimination" and addressed policies that clash with religious viewpoints. Mr. Haase recommends including language in policies that indicates "a desire to make opportunities available to people of all backgrounds," and suggests employers make a case-by-case determination of how to respond to an employee's need for religious accommodation. Ultimately, says Mr. Haase, "It seems likely that more litigation will provide further guidance regarding these issues."