About this practice
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives remain a focus for employers.
In 2009, Weldon Latham founded the Corporate Diversity Counseling Group. Since then, attorneys in our groundbreaking group have helped employers with diversity programs, performance and profile, with a focus on achieving key organizational objectives and mitigating potential legal risk. Bringing to bear years of experience as a standalone practice, we advise all employers from CEOs and senior executives of Fortune 500 companies, government agency heads and other large organizations to smaller organizations and start-ups in all industries. We analyze, develop and implement DEI strategies to protect an organization’s reputation and expand business opportunities by strengthening relationships with stakeholders including customers, employees, investors, community leaders, regulators, public officials and the general public.
Because we focus solely on workplace issues throughout the country, we advise clients on every aspect of the employer-employee relationship and leverage the valuable insight we gain into potential employment risks and the preventive practices and strategies to provide creative policies, practices and strategies for every aspect of client DEI programs and solutions wherever clients stand in their DEI journey.
Strategic DEI program planning, development, and advice and counsel
The Group provides DEI advice and counsel to organizations in various industries and sizes, on topics including but not limited to:
- DEI program development and analysis
- Recruiting programs, initiatives and tools
- Voluntary affirmative action plans
- Employee development, mentoring and sponsorship programs
- DEI mission statements, policies and related communications
- Employee Resource Groups
- DEI Councils and DEI Committees
- Data collection, preservation and self-identification practices
- Goal-setting and analysis
- Supplier diversity and other company spending initiatives
- Corporate Diversity Counseling (niche practice focused on Fortune 200 and large organizations)
- Assessment and Data Analytics
- Affirmative Action Compliance and OFCCP Defense
- Training and Leadership Development
- Crisis prevention, mitigation and management
- Strategic DEI communications
- Pay Equity analyses
- Workplace investigations
- Litigation defense
- Focused taskforces
DEI programs often impact all facets of the employment relationship, from recruiting and hiring, to onboarding and training, to development and promotion. Acknowledging the push and pull of DEI today, we advise clients on developing and tailoring mechanisms to help achieve the organization’s DEI objectives. We routinely advise clients on tools such as diverse candidate slates, diversity-related recruiting incentives, diversity councils, employee resource groups, employee surveys, DEI-related goal setting and supplier diversity programs.
Corporate diversity counseling
We assist senior management in developing and implementing practical strategies sensitive to the company’s corporate culture for achieving their legitimate business objectives including:
- Comprehensive diversity reviews that evaluate diversity in corporate governance and senior management, the company’s workforce and in supplier and business partner relationships; and
- Analysis of government and community relations, strategic communications, minority outreach, corporate image, targeted philanthropy and related relationship building.
Our lawyers have advised over 75 Fortune 200 companies, as well as major government agencies and complex organizations, in DEI programs, performance and profile. We benchmark our clients against “best-in-class” performance and then tailor diversity action plans to address each client’s specific needs.
Assessment and data analytics
The tool includes an assessment of over 30 DEI topics such as workforce and management representation and inclusion, professional and career development programs, employee resource groups, customer, supplier and vendor demographics, discrimination, harassment and retaliation vulnerabilities, human resource policies and practices, and more including:
- Workplace employee engagement and inclusion surveys and organizational analyses, including utilization analyses, comparing the workforce representation of demographic groups against their hypothetical availability.
- Comprehensive data analysis of employment practices such as hiring, pay, promotions, voluntary separations, discharges, discipline, performance management and other selection processes.
- We apply proprietary algorithms and state-of-the-art modeling techniques to conduct talent analytics for recruitment, workforce management and equity and policy assessments through predictive modeling.
The Jackson Lewis DEI Diagnostic Assessment, a comprehensive and tailored assessment tool applicable to organizations and institutions of all sizes and industries, helps an organization develop, analyze, and evaluate its DEI efforts, performance, opportunities and risks.
Affirmative action compliance and OFCCP defense
Attorneys in these groups:
- Perform OFCCP audits.
- Develop and implement Affirmative Action Plans and assist with audits.
- Advise on implementing lawful diversity initiatives and voluntary AAPs, set-aside and vendor and franchisee preference programs.
- Conduct pay equity analyses.
- Assist federal contractors and subcontractors in compliance with Executive Orders and regulations as they are implemented.
- EEO-1 and state agency reporting compliance.
Our diverse team of attorneys includes and works closely with members of the Jackson Lewis’ Data Analytics, OFCCP/AAP Pay Equity groups who provide metrics, analyses and audits, often with the additional benefit of attorney-client privilege.
Workplace training and development
Examples of our programming include:
- Diversity, Inclusion and Bias (tailored by audience, ranging from Boards, Executive Teams, Management, to Human Resource and DEI professionals, to all employees)
- Inclusive Leadership, Hiring and DEI best practices workshops for people leaders, managers and supervisors
- Understanding microaggressions
- Generational diversity
- Respect in the Workplace, Equal Employment Opportunity and Fostering a Harassment-Free Workplace (with state-specific nuances)
- Employment Law 101: What Every Manager Needs to Know
- Affirmative Action Obligations, Planning and Implementation
- Leadership Development and Communication
- Enhancing Employee Engagement Through Performance Management and Goal Setting
Workplace Training has long been a cornerstone of our preventive strategy and our programs are customized to each client’s specific needs, audiences, and goals with an eye toward providing practical solutions, tangible takeaways and continuous improvement. All our programs are tailored by audience, delivered to groups ranging from one to thousands of participants via in-person and via remote training platforms and of varying durations.
Crisis prevention, mitigation and management
- High-profile race and sex discrimination allegations can produce significant financial consequences, as well as long-term damage to a company’s brand and reputation, and even its market share. We advise clients regarding proactive crisis prevention strategies and long-term solutions to avoid financial, business and management disruptions.
- We investigate complaints, claims, allegations and/or attacks from individuals or interest groups. We then assist in developing resolution strategies that often include litigation and/or settlement alternatives. We also help create action plans to address legitimate concerns and issues and collaborate with corporate and agency public relations advisers in crafting and delivering key messages to targeted constituencies during difficult situations.
Early identification and resolution of diversity issues can often mitigate or avoid altogether serious consequence down the road.
Strategic DEI communications
Scalable climate assessments
We design and conduct cultural climate assessments are designed to assist in helping organizations understand employee needs and engagement. Our climate assessments utilize a number of tools individually or in tandem – interviews, focus groups, written surveys, data analysis – to take the temperature of an organization or department and determine the root cause of underlying issues. With each climate assessment, we partner with our clients to dig deep into the organization’s culture, drawing on our experience in employment law and litigation in combination with the soft skills and emotional quotient of a talented and diverse team of attorneys. The process is tailored to each organization’s unique needs, and the results include a detailed plan that can be utilized to address immediate concerns as well as the prevention of systemic issues.
Our attorneys assist clients with respect to both internal and external DEI communications. We help leaders develop and deliver appropriate messages to the workforce regarding the business imperative and the expectations on each employee and supervisor. We also assist clients to deliver appropriate external messaging, and often help build or strengthen relationships with such stakeholders as regulators, legislators, recruiting sources and advocacy groups.
Working side by side to develop and implement your DEI strategy and programs gives you the advantage whenever an initiative or policy is challenged in any forum.
- Our team effectively handles individual and systemic cases involving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion issues, quickly and efficiently.
- Reliance upon our national network of offices and experience to best meet our clients’ litigation goals.
- We assist with risk analyses and settlement scenarios (including managing reputational stigma arising from discrimination litigation), and apply lessons learned from lawsuits to enhance DEI performance and reduce future legal/reputational risk.
The Jackson Lewis national team of litigators and trial lawyers all understand that preparing a sound defense for single, multi-claimant and systemic actions involves a core understanding of your business, your goals and tolerance for risk.