WF Statement on Supreme Court Decision on Affirmative Action

The recent Supreme Court decision in SFFA v. Harvard overturned nearly 50 years of precedent in the use of affirmative action to address barriers and racial stereotyping in higher education.

The decision holds that affirmative action in student admissions in the defendant colleges violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. While that decision does not require the removal of affirmative action programs from all institutions, it does open the door for many education establishments to engage in biased decision-making in student admissions.

The drop in the admission of people of color in institutions that eliminate affirmative action will certainly have a ripple effect on the country’s economy and progress, including societal awareness of racism, bias, and equity.

Although the decision does not directly address the workplace, the outcome could affect the talent pipeline for recruiting efforts and the way companies make hiring and promotion decisions. In contemplation of a decline in spending related to workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and an increase in scrutiny of workplace diversity programs, Workplace Fairness reaffirms the importance of cultivating and maintaining inclusive workplaces that emphasize belonging, anti-discrimination, and equitable practices.

To promote workplace fairness and equitable outcomes, employers should be intentional about recruiting from diverse candidate pools – particularly including people of color – to combat the potential lack of diversity in higher education that may affect representation in the workplace.

Workplace Fairness will be monitoring developments regarding workers’ rights and new laws pertaining to DEI and discrimination in the workplace.

To stay informed about your rights and new developments, visit our website at www.workplacefairness.org.

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Madeline Messa

Madeline Messa is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. With her legal research and writing for Workplace Fairness, she strives to equip people with the information they need to be their own best advocate.