Diversity Initiatives and Benevolent Employment Discrimination: Mitigating Claims for Well-Intentioned Companies

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will provide employment counsel with advice on instituting policies that balance the divide created by current protests, social justice, police reform, and political divides. The panel will address how to address these delicate topics to support diversity without requiring employee action. The panel will also discuss best practices on community engagement while mitigating the risk of discrimination claims, where the business seeks to support well-intentioned but not exclusionary practices.


"Benevolent discrimination" is subtle structural discrimination that is difficult to identify because it frames conduct as "positive, in solidarity with the (inferior) other who is helped, and within a hierarchical order that is taken for granted," according to a 2018 study by the Copenhagen Business School and Stockholm School of Economics.

Companies pursuing diversity initiatives and other good intentions to interact with their communities face discrimination issues. Employment counsel must understand how regulations under the EEOC, the ADA, and the AEDA may apply when a company chooses to be involved in community activism.

The current health crisis and the increase in work-from-home employment have created new categories of unanticipated discrimination claims.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses how to carefully respond to employee requests and assess individual needs to create policies that mitigate discrimination claims. The panel will address best practices for creating policies for companies that desire to promote diversity and community activism while limiting the risk of employment claims.



  1. Accommodations
    1. EEOC
    2. ADA
    3. AEDA
  2. Social justice policies in the workplace
    1. BLM
    2. #MeToo
    3. Social justice
    4. Police reform
    5. Diversity initiatives
  3. Encouraging dialogue
  4. Making corporate statements
  5. Best practices for HR policies


The panel will review these and other topics:

  • How can a company draft a social justice public statement and avoid discrimination claims?
  • How can a company address requests for accommodations under the current pandemic while not discriminating against a category of employees?
  • How can a business encourage community outreach without breaching discrimination laws?
  • How should counsel advise companies when employees have competing and vocal views on social justice matters?
  • What are best practices and policies for creating diversity while abiding by Title VII?


Farahany, Amanda
Amanda A. Farahany

Managing Partner
Barrett & Farahany

Ms. Farahany focuses her practice exclusively on labor and employment law. She helps to protect the rights and...  |  Read More

Stanton, Todd
Todd Stanton

Stanton Law

Seeking to combine the quality of large firm representation with the flexibility, responsiveness, and...  |  Read More

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