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Coca-Cola has abandoned, at least temporarily, a controversial company diversity plan that was accused of violating the Civil Rights Act.
What is the background?
Bradley Gayton, who was the general counsel for Coca-Cola, announced a new diversity plan in January that promised to punish outside law firms seeking to work with Coca-Cola.
Under Gayton’s plan, outside law firms would be required to use “diverse attorneys” for at least 30% of their billable hours with Coca-Cola, half of whom were required to be black. Firms that did not meet the diversity quota would be financially penalized.
The plan stated:
Last month, Boyden Gray, writing on behalf of the Project on Fair Representation, said the “policy of discrimination is illegal,” and demanded it be immediately revoked. Gray said the quota violated federal law that prohibits racially discriminatory hiring practices.