Legal Aspects of DEI in the Workplace

Course Code
BL 415

3 hours
BL 300 and BBA Senior

Legal Aspects of DEI in the Workplace --- This course considers the legal aspects of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Most companies recognize that DEI plays a critical role in acquiring and building talent. Further, DEI can be explored in the context of many business school courses. This course concentrates on the sometimes difficult and shifting ways in which the law intersects with DEI. For example, when are DEI initiatives required? And, what kinds of DEI initiatives pose potential legal problems for employers? The first half of this course concentrates on the basic legal concepts that are relevant for a consideration of DEI initiatives. It begins with an exploration of legal concepts of equality and remediation of legally-recognized wrongs and a one-session refresher on general non-discrimination law. Other topics in the first half include the history of mandatory and voluntary affirmative action, as well as specific non-discrimination law related to religious observation, disability, and pay equity. The second part of the course considers how the law studied in the first part applies to some specific employment-related practices that are particularly relevant for DEI such as the use of artificial intelligence in pre-interview screening, social media background checks, and grooming and dress codes.