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April 27, 2023

Legal News

April 27, 2023

Reverse Discrimination

This week, Newsweek reported that Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, was recently targeted for employment and hiring practices that allegedly are discriminatory against “white people”.

America First Legal (AFL), a conservative watchdog organization led by Stephen Miller, a former adviser to former President Donald Trump, announced on Monday a federal civil rights complaint against Anheuser-Busch for what it calls "systemic and discriminatory hiring, promotion, and job-training employment practices."

The announcement said that Anheuser-Busch had a Leadership Accelerator Program that invited "only specific individuals of specified races, colors, and national origin" to apply. However, according to America First Legal, the program excluded white and Asian Americans.

Reverse discrimination is a term used to describe situations where members of a historically privileged or majority group are discriminated against in favor of members of a historically disadvantaged or minority group. This can occur in various contexts, such as employment, education, or social programs, and is often associated with affirmative action policies designed to address and rectify historical injustices and systemic discrimination faced by minority groups.

An employer can be sued for reverse discrimination if they are found to have discriminated against an individual from a historically privileged or majority group in favor of a member from a historically disadvantaged or minority group. In the United States, for example, federal laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act protect employees from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and disability. These laws apply to all individuals, regardless of their group affiliation.

To minimize the risk of reverse discrimination claims and avoid liability, employers can take the following steps:

  1. Develop clear and objective criteria for hiring, promotion, and other employment decisions: Establishing transparent and merit-based criteria can help ensure that decisions are made fairly and consistently, without favoritism or bias towards any particular group.
  2. Train managers and supervisors: Provide regular training to managers and supervisors on the principles of equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination, ensuring they understand the legal requirements and the importance of fair treatment for all employees.
  3. Implement a strong anti-discrimination policy: Create and enforce a comprehensive policy that explicitly prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other protected characteristic. Ensure that employees understand the policy and know how to report violations.
  4. Monitor and review employment practices: Regularly review your company's hiring, promotion, and other employment practices to ensure they are consistent with your anti-discrimination policy and applicable laws. Make necessary adjustments if any issues are identified.
  5. Foster a diverse and inclusive workplace: Encourage diversity and inclusivity in the workplace by promoting a culture of respect and understanding, implementing diversity training programs, and ensuring that employees from all backgrounds have equal opportunities for growth and advancement.

Finally, employers should consult with legal counsel. The attorneys at Outside Legal Counsel are experienced in employment law and can help ensure that your company's policies and practices comply with applicable laws and to address any potential issues that may arise.

By taking these steps, employers can reduce the risk of reverse discrimination claims and foster a more equitable and inclusive work environment.

This is not legal advice and is attorney advertising.

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