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Racial Diversity and Employment Policies: Enforcement of First Amendment, Title VII, the NLRA, State Labor Laws

Anti-Discrimination Policies, Restrictions on Activities Outside Employment and Social Media

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 Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide employment counsel with guidance on how to best create a safe and supportive work environment for Black employees, employees of color, and other minority employees and to address the demands of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement by changing company policies and practices while adhering to current federal and state laws related to free speech and political activity.


Employers remain uncertain how to respond and communicate with employees regarding the ongoing demands of people of color and the BLM movement (as opposed to the organization using that name) across the country. Many employers recognized--for the first time--Juneteenth on June 19, 2020, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of slaves. Are simple corporate pronouncements sufficient to respond to employees' needs and concerns?

When considering employee self-expression on the BLM movement, employers must be aware of constitutional free speech protections, employee rights under Title VII, the National Labor Relations Act, and state laws that may apply to employee conduct.

Beyond that, employers can choose their response and engagement level or choose to do nothing at all--there is no right or wrong answer or a "one size fits all" solution. The most common reaction from employers is to acknowledge the unrest and issue a statement of support. Many employers have also chosen to make a public announcement expressing solidarity and support of the BLM movement and offering transparency in examining their current harassment policies and diversity initiatives.

Many employers have loftier goals to articulate and implement a strategy for supporting racial diversity initiatives within their own workplace and beyond. This action requires substantial reflection, consideration, time, and effort.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses how the BLM movement and employment policies may conflict and how employers can appropriately and legally support and communicate systemic change.



  1. History of BLM movement
  2. Title VII and EEO
  3. First Amendment rights: private vs. public employers
  4. State regulations on political speech
  5. Employer regulation on behavior outside the workplace, including social media
  6. NLRA


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How can employers balance employees' demands under BLM and other employee rights?
  • What must employers do to comply with First Amendment, Title VII, and NLRA requirements?
  • Which states provide employees protections regarding political speech?
  • How can employers update their harassment policies to address BLM issues?
  • Can diversity initiatives be used to effectuate BLM demands?


Siler-Nixon, Dawn
Dawn Siler-Nixon


Ms. Siler-Nixon has spent two decades partnering with her clients to help guide and direct their employment decisions...  |  Read More

Glover, Clifford
Clifford B. Glover, III

Jackson Lewis

 Mr. Glover protects his clients’ interests by ensuring that they implement proactive policies that shield...  |  Read More

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