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Mark Cuban Gets a DEI Reality Check: Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner Takes Him to Task

via GQ Sports
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Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban received criticism from a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) commissioner for his support of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies, with the commissioner warning that basing hiring decisions on race or gender violates federal employment laws.

Despite Cuban’s assertion that DEI policies make race and gender “part of the equation” for hiring, the EEOC commissioner emphasized that using these factors in hiring decisions is a violation of Title VII law.

The commissioner also explained that while diversity goals are not prohibited, using race or sex as a factor in decision-making violates the law.

“I’ve never hired anyone based exclusively on race, gender, religion. I only ever hire the person that will put my business in the best position to succeed,” Cuban said.

“And yes, race and gender can be part of the equation. I view diversity as a competitive advantage.”

“EEOC Commissioner here,” Commissioner Andrea R. Lucas said. “Unfortunately, you’re dead wrong on black-letter Title VII law. As a general rule, race/sex can’t even be a ‘motivating factor’—nor a plus factor, tie-breaker, or tipping point. It’s important employers understand the ground rules here.”

“If any employer, whether private or public, uses race or sex or any other protected characteristic, particularly race or sex, as any factor in their decision-making process for any employment decision, then they’ve violated Title VII, and an employee that’s been harmed can file a complaint with the EEOC and then if they get a right to sue letter, they can file in federal court,” Lucas said.

“A goal, per se, is not prohibited,” Lucas added. “But there’s lots of ways that you can end up violating the law or having it be used as evidence of violating the law if it indicates that you’re using race or sex or another protected characteristic as a factor in your decision making. Quotas absolutely are a direct violation of Title VII, so if you are indicating that goal really is an actual requirement or a hard target, that you will be hiring this amount of people or you will be promoting this amount of people, that’s absolutely a facial violation of Title VII.”

“So a lot of people hear the words diversity, equity, and inclusion and think, well, all of those sound like great concepts,” she said.

“I like fairness. Who doesn’t like fairness? I like equality. What’s wrong with equity? But the reason that there’s been a shift from focusing on equal employment opportunity to equity is for a reason. Words mean something, and equity and equality are not the same concept.”

A video from 2020 surfaced showing Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall admitting to firing white males and hiring women and minorities based solely on their race and gender, contradicting Cuban’s claims about his DEI hiring policies.

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