Business groups give 👎 on new limits to diversity training. SHRM too — maybe.


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The saga continues following new rules prohibiting federal contractors from conducting certain types of diversity training.

Yesterday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and over 100 business groups wrote this letter to the White House asking it to reconsider Executive Order 13950, Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping. The concern is that the E.O. will “create confusion and uncertainty, lead to non-meritorious investigations, and hinder the ability of employers to implement critical programs to promote diversity and combat discrimination in the workplace.”

The groups further noted that the E.O. “is already having a broadly chilling effect on legitimate and valuable D&I training companies use to foster inclusive workplaces, help with talent recruitment, and remain competitive in a country with a wide range of different cultures.”

Thus, the business groups are asking the White House “to withdraw the Executive Order and work with the business and nonprofit communities on an approach that would support appropriate workplace training programs.”

Also, yesterday, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) advised its members that “SHRM is joining members of the business community in sending a letter to the White House urging withdrawal of this Executive Order and encouraging the Administration to work with the business community on an approach that would support appropriate workplace training programs.”

Except then SHRM sent a follow-up email in which it clarified that “SHRM is considering joining members of the business community…” (my emphasis) SHRM did not explain the corrected email. Res ipsa loquitor, I suppose.

We’ll see how the White House responds.

In the meantime, we can discuss this measure and any other employment law issues that you have on your mind today at noon EDT on Zoom. That’s when I’ll be hosting The Employer Handbook “Office Hours” and answering some of those hypothetical HR-compliance questions that you’ve been dying to ask on behalf of a friend. If you have one of those questions, please email it to me with “Office Hours” in the email subject line.

Just remember: I don’t provide specific legal advice, and we’re not creating any attorney-client privilege between us. My clients pay me actual money for that.

It’s not too late to register (here).

See you at noon!

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