While we strongly advocate for businesses instituting a DEI program, these programs must be created carefully and with the help of your legal team. The major areas where DEI programs can conflict with the law typically fall under issues of pay equity, sex-based employment discrimination, and stereotyping based on caregiver status. Here are some policies we recommend to protect your business while supporting your entire staff. 


A good start is rethinking the minimum qualifications for positions, rather than requiring a specific title to meet minimum qualifications, employers could consider candidates with several years of experience in a relevant role, even if candidates have not yet had the opportunity to take on the higher-level title. 

Remote-Work Policies

Employers striving to increase diversity and decrease potential bias against caregivers should embrace giving employees autonomy to choose where to work. If a position requires in-person office time or set work hours, the company should clearly and concisely explain its justification in the job posting. 


HIstorically, women have been given roles in cost centers rather than in profit-generating areas of the business. To ensure that women can progress to these roles, employers need to invest in the business advancement of women, giving meaningful face time with executive leaders, implementation of mentoring and sponsorships programs, and provide women the same training opportunities for advancement that are given to men in these roles. 

Pay Equity

Train hiring managers not to ask applicants about previous pay history or current salaries and Conduct pay audits to ensure that your company is closing the wage gap. Conducting pay audits at the direction of legal counsel may allow a legal privilege that would otherwise not be available without the input of the company’s counsel..

 DEI Best Practices:

  • Invest in training, mentoring, networking connections for historically marginalized groups. 
  • Make sure fairness and respect are themes throughout the process.
  • Perform an annual equity audit for your organization.
  • Institute Leadership Development Programs. 
  • Connect equity to your culture and values: DEI programs require a firm, long-term commitment in the face of challenges. 
  • Recognize that policies in practice may differ from policies on paper and adjust accordingly. 
  • Reach out to legal early to discuss DEI objectives and to establish a partnership stance on DEI practices.
  • Engage in thorough and accurate data gathering (demographics, environment, legal department).
  • Move away from engaging in performative exercises.
  • Engage in thoughtful benchmarking.
Michelle at a recent DEI Conference.

Transcendent Law Group offers Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Implementation & Training that speak directly to the organization’s culture. We assist companies with implementing new programs and strategies and assist organizations in updating more mature D&I programs. Contact us today to learn more!