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

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide employment counsel with advice on instituting policies that balance the divide created by 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.

Employers have had to adapt diversity initiatives created for in-office work and routines to the new reality of the work-from-home environment which presents a different set of concerns and consequences.

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. Legal framework
    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?


Benard, Bryan
Bryan Benard

Holland & Hart

Mr. Benard regularly represents both private and public clients in wrongful termination, harassment, and discrimination...  |  Read More

Sager, Heather
Heather M. Sager

Perkins Coie

Ms. Sager has wide-ranging experience litigating complex wage-and-hour claims, as well as conducting wage-and-hour...  |  Read More

Alejandro, Faith
Faith A. Alejandro

Shareholder; Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair
Sands Anderson

Ms. Alejandro represents companies and local governments in a broad spectrum of management, operation, and planning...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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