NEW YORK, NY (August 22, 2023) Nationwide employment law firm Jackson Lewis P.C. is pleased to announce a series of actions to enhance the firm’s capabilities to provide clients with meaningful and actionable advice and solutions for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issues.
The firm is expanding its Corporate Diversity Counseling Group leadership, adding Samia M. Kirmani and Michael D. Thomas as co-leaders who will serve alongside Weldon H. Latham, a national thought leader who has been counseling major clients in this area for more than 25 years. The practice focuses on providing creative policies, practices and strategies for every aspect of client DEI programs and offering solutions wherever clients stand in their DEI journey.
“For many years, Jackson Lewis has been a trailblazer in helping employers develop and implement effective DEI strategies,” said Firm Chair Kevin Lauri. “Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June reversal of affirmative action in college admissions, the firm is reinforcing its long-standing commitment to helping employers with the legal, reputational, economic and business risks associated with DEI matters. Weldon, Samia and Michael’s experience navigating this complex and evolving landscape is unmatched, and they are well-positioned to lead this broadened team.”
“Since the inception of Jackson Lewis’ Corporate Diversity Counseling Group, we have advised clients on implementing effective DEI measures that strengthen relationships with stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, community leaders, regulators, public officials and the general public,” said Weldon. “These efforts are especially important in the wake of Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, as companies and institutions are grappling with an increase in demands for DEI audits, regulatory compliance, shareholder challenges and litigation. We are ready to help organizations address legal challenges and changes in the legal, business, economic, and social landscape, and offer strategic DEI program planning, development, and implementation advice and counsel in the aftermath of the Court’s ruling.”
Jackson Lewis routinely advises clients on DEI initiatives such as diverse candidate slates, diversity-related recruiting incentives, diversity councils, employee resource groups, employee engagement surveys, DEI-related goal setting and supplier diversity programs. The Group provides DEI advice and counsel to organizations in various industries and sizes, on topics including but not limited to:
• DEI Legal Vulnerability and Diagnostic Assessments
• Climate Surveys and Racial Equity Audits
• Statistical assessment and Data Analytics
• Crisis Prevention, Mitigation and Management
• Strategic DEI Communications (Internal and External)
• Relationship Building with External Advocacy and Stakeholder Groups
• Class Actions, Systemic Claims and Other Related Litigation
• Affirmative Action Compliance and OFCCP Defense
• Workplace Training and Development
The firm is also enhancing solutions for employers by expanding the depth and breadth of task forces focused on emerging DEI-related issues. The Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) Task Force and ESG Group partner with employers from the breakroom to the boardroom in a new ESG-focused world. Additionally, the firm’s Supreme Court Affirmative Action Decision Task Force analyzes the implications of the landmark decisions in the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina holding that the use of race in college admissions is unconstitutional. The Task Force provides up-to-the-minute advice to clients on issues such as those arising from DEI mission statements, DEI initiatives, federal affirmative action plan documents, and related analyses. Although the admissions decisions did not directly impact laws relating to employment discrimination, we have already seen an increase in claims that DEI programs violate existing employment law, either in policy or practice.
"Our multi-disciplinary teams focus on workplace issues throughout the country and provide organizations with guidance and strategies to assist clients in achieving the business benefits of DEI programs, while structuring legally compliant processes to mitigate risks brought on by challenges to DEI programs,” said Samia. "The Group has advised more than 95 Fortune 200 companies, as well as major government agencies and other complex organizations, in DEI programs, performance and profile. We are ready to provide organizations with the tools and resources tailored to address each client’s specific needs and resources in this evolving space,” Michael added.
More information about the group’s expanded service offerings is available here.
About Jackson Lewis
Focused on labor and employment law since 1958, Jackson Lewis P.C.’s 950+ attorneys located in major cities nationwide consistently identify and respond to new ways workplace law intersects business. We help employers develop proactive strategies, strong policies and business-oriented solutions to cultivate high-functioning workforces that are engaged, stable and diverse, and share our clients' goals to emphasize inclusivity and respect for the contribution of every employee.
Additional information about the firm can be found at jacksonlewis.com.
For more information, please contact:
Lara Hamm, Chief Communications Officer
T: (267) 319-7803 / E: Lara.Hamm@jacksonlewis.com