3 Ways To Protect Diversity If Layoffs Are Unavoidable
Labor and Employment Partner William deMeza was quoted in a Law360 article about how businesses can protect diversity if layoffs are unavoidable. The economic havoc wrought by COVID-19 forced many organizations to shed workers, leaving employers fearful that layoffs may undermine efforts to make their workplaces more inclusive.
When faced with unavoidable mass layoffs, Mr. deMeza encouraged the use of impact analyses, which can paint a clear picture for a company about whether any specific groups within their workforce may be acutely hit. "When you look at all the numbers and you put in all the characteristics, does it appear from a statistical analysis that greater numbers of women or minorities are being released?" Mr. deMeza said. "And if it appears that way from statistics, then go back and assess either the process — maybe there was something wrong in the decision-making protocols or processes being used — or maybe there is something amiss in individual decisions."
He also recommended consulting with people in the organization who are most familiar with diversity, equity and inclusion issues. "When decisions are being made, have someone from the affinity group offer thoughts about either the process that's being used in identifying folks to be released or sometimes specifically about people who are targeted for possible reduction or for possible layoffs."