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Diversity Training costs employers big time. News Team

Major employers have paid a fortune for forced diversity training only to see it blow up in their faces. Lawsuits over racial discrimination and sexual harassment increase after diversity training programs. In fact, there have been a rash of lawsuits against employers who penalized white males for criticizing affirmative action programs.


Major employers have paid out millions of dollars in discrimination claims because of diversity-training programs. One Fortune 500 company paid out tens of millions of dollars in response to a class-action racial discrimination suit by minority employees, which was fueled by remarks management employees made after undergoing mandatory diversity training (they joked about jelly beans used in the training to represent minority employees. That, coupled with a poor quality recording in which a manager’s reference to “Saint Nicholas” was misinterpreted as the N-word, created a furor).

Diversity training often triggers workplace conflict and lawsuits, by compelling employees to talk about contentious racial or sexual issues, with resulting acrimony, and remarks that are misinterpreted or perceived as racially or sexually biased. For example, in Stender v. Lucky Stores (1992), statements made by managers during sensitivity training were held by a court to be admissible as evidence of discriminatory intent within the organization. That prevented the employer from getting a lawsuit dismissed.