California Labor &
Employment Law Blog
Concerns About Corporate DEI Are Real in the Post Harvard/UNC World
Jul 11, 2023

Concerns About Corporate DEI Are Real in the Post Harvard/UNC World

Topics: Court Decisions, Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation

In 2021, in Duvall v. Novant Health, a North Carolina jury awarded a former white Novant Health executive over $3 million dollars in actual damages based on race discrimination allegations centering around assertions that Duvall was terminated from employment and ultimately his job duties were taken over by women and/or minorities as part of the company’s efforts to meet diversity goals that the company had committed to.  

Earlier that same year, Sal Kafiti, a male in-house attorney, filed a reverse sex discrimination lawsuit against his employer AB Electrolux and Electrolux North America claiming he was denied a promotion because he is a man and Electrolux’ diversity efforts led the company to engage in the discriminatory practice of hiring and promoting women above males to meet these goals. It is unclear exactly how the case resolved, but the parties ultimately filed a joint stipulation of dismissal with prejudice, asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit in July 2021. 

Both of these lawsuits were filed in response to corporate diversity programs that were alleged to have hiring/promotion goals and quotas. Other similar lawsuits are already pending in the courts across the United States. In the wake of Students v. Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard and Students v. Fair Admissions, Inc. v. UNC, should California employers expect more lawsuits like Duvall v. Novant Health and Kafiti v. Electrolux in 2023 and 2024? What can employers do to help prepare for what the wake of these two SCOTUS affirmative action decisions may do in the world of corporate diversity?  

If these are questions you have concerns about, or feel you need more information on, we encourage you to register for and attend our complimentary thirty-minute webinar on August 3 entitled CDF Webinar: Navigating the Legal Landscape: Analyzing the Harvard/UNC Decision and Its Impact on DEI in the Workplace. You can get more information and register for this program by clicking here

About CDF

For over 25 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor in Chief

Sacramento Office Managing Partner and Chair of CDF’s Traditional Labor Law Practice Group. Mark has been practicing labor and employment law in California for thirty years. His practice has a special emphasis on the representation of California employers in union-management relations and handling federal and state court litigation and administrative matters triggered by all types of employment-related disputes. He is also adept at providing creative and practical legal advice to help minimize the risks inherent in employing workers in California. He recently named “Sacramento Lawyer of the Year” in Employment Law-Management for 2021 by Best Lawyers®.
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