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  • Writer's pictureJFK

Anti-DEI Laws Rejected in court

Like many of you, I have spent the early part of 2024 watching dozens Bills and Regulations proposed as Anti-DEI or to reduce efforts of identifying disenfranchised populations and include them in the normal economy. I have watched “DEI” efforts get attacked by activist groups who claim that the portions of the population with the most access to the economy are being discriminated against. They are all failing.


 

In the USA on last Monday, a unanimous panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reverse an injunction barring enforcement of portions of Florida’s Individual Freedom Act. The law in question would bar employers from mandating most diversity, equity, and inclusion training for employees. The court said that the law directly violated the First Amendment by directing what employers can and cannot require based on the content of the training.

 

The law lists eight separate ideas that it characterizes as offensive, including the concept that individuals are inherently racist or sexist due to their race or sex. Florida argued that it was not banning speech, but rather conduct as manifested by mandatory meetings. The Eleventh Circuit noted that the law only bars such meetings based on the content of the speech expressed during them, in direct violation of the First Amendment. The state could appeal this decision to the full Eleventh Circuit or to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, other states considering similar legislation may be deterred by the failure of the Florida law to survive federal legal challenge.


This news was not covered by the major networks, but the protests were.

I am hopeful about the future and the growth of inclusion, and it is because capitalism won’t sleep until it can identify your wants & needs. That stated, I think that I should define a few things for you all.

 

What is DEI?

A business process based on ISO-30415. All other definitions are poetry.

 

What is the greatest incentive for DEI?

Insurance premiums for companies that have to put a price on people risks.

 

The insurance industry is paying attention as the costs of doing business in a salad bowl society rises. I was at the American Property & Casualty Insurance Association's 5th Annual conference talking about this last week. Employment Practices Insurance Premiums are on the rise.



I know attorneys who have had < 5 corporate discrimination cases in their 40 year careers that currently have more than 50 on their desk. At InclusionScore we are tracking 4,000. The EEOC consistently reports spikes in grievances around retaliation or discrimination.

 

A 2023 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 52% of employed U.S. adults say they have DEI trainings or meetings at work, and 33% say they have a designated staff member who promotes DEI. In the modern world of 2024, we can’t just delete the norms of including people in the normal economy without seeing a wave of litigation from them to keep it. Apparently we will also see a wave of litigation claiming that “reverse discrimination” is at play. These are both incentives for companies to use a process that they can defend, because at the end of every argument is a price tag that the insurance industry has to pay. That's where we come in.

As the lonely economist in the room, talking about inclusion as a mechanism of corporate change management, I want to remind all of you that we the people have insured the corporate world as a singular index of companies having a valuation made up of 90% people. The chart above references "intangible assets" and that is finance talk for, people.


I have 100% confidence that we are adequately incentivized to include them until this chart reads 99.9%. Capitalism will inevitably evolve into inclusionism ;-)

JFK



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