Civil Rights and Racial Equity Audits
Companies and their boards are facing increasing pressure from shareholders and other stakeholders to follow through on their diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) commitments. Our Civil Rights and Racial Equity Audit Practice is among the nation’s first dedicated legal teams focused on conducting racial equity audits and other civil rights audits—proactive, powerful tools that help ensure that companies and investment firms are delivering on their commitments, while mitigating potential legal, reputational and business risk.
Paul, Weiss has represented a significant share of work in this emerging area.
- A multinational technology conglomerate in its response to a recent shareholder proposal, including an independent racial equity audit to address race-related issues concerning its U.S. hourly workforce, analyzing overall policies, practices, business lines and services. The audit scope includes determining racial impacts on employees, customers and communities and identifying and/or confirming gaps or redundancies in programs, policies and practices; inequities and disparate impacts resulting from the identified programs, policies and practices; opportunities and recommendations; and systems and practices for monitoring and tracking data and identifying racial equity trends.
- The New York State Court System in an assessment of equal justice in the state court system; after a four-month investigation, our team, led by Secretary Johnson, issued a 100-page public report recommending a number of changes, which the Chief Judge pledged to adopt.
Additional Relevant Experience
- A leading asset manager in an internal review of the company’s processes for investigating employee complaints, including its handling of former employees’ allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination reported in the media, and recommendations for bolstering its internal policies.
- A leading data and intelligence solutions provider in conducting a global human rights due diligence assessment aligned to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
- A multinational technology conglomerate in conducting a compliance assessment of Sustainability and Environmental Health & Safety operations.
- A leading cryptocurrency platform in advice with respect to its ESG program, policies and initiatives; benchmarking against industry peers; and the development of a governance framework.
- A multinational investment bank in a comprehensive assessment of current ESG programs, policies, committees, and initiatives; and helping to develop an enterprise-wide ESG governance framework.