Pursuing Diversity: From Education to Employment

2020 U. Chi. L. Rev. Online 94 (Oct. 30, 2020)

U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 20-45

17 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2020

See all articles by Amy L. Wax

Amy L. Wax

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Date Written: October 30, 2020

Abstract

A central pillar of the Supreme Court’s educational affirmative-action jurisprudence is that the pedagogical benefits of being educated with students from diverse backgrounds are sufficiently “compelling” to justify some degree of race-conscious selection in university admissions.

This essay argues that the blanket permission to advance educational diversity, defensible or not, should not be extended to employment. The purpose of the workplace is not pedagogical. Rather, employees are hired and paid to do a job, deliver a service, produce a product, and complete specified tasks efficiently and effectively. Whether race-conscious practices for the purpose of creating a more diverse workforce will enhance the functioning and economic viability of a particular organization cannot be assumed. Such claims must be carefully evaluated on a case-by-case basis by considering the costs as well as the benefits of deviating from race-blind methods.

Keywords: Civil rights, Title VII, constitutional law, affirmative action, disparate-impact doctrine, labor & employment, discrimination, structural racism, workplace diversification, rightful position, remediation, equity, varied demographic profiles, race-based preferences

Suggested Citation

Wax, Amy L., Pursuing Diversity: From Education to Employment (October 30, 2020). 2020 U. Chi. L. Rev. Online 94 (Oct. 30, 2020), U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 20-45, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3731827

Amy L. Wax (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-5638 (Phone)
215-573-2025 (Fax)

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