The massive soda company Coca-Cola is facing a challenge to its internal efforts to force diversity on law firms that are contracted to work for it, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
In January, Coca-Cola announced an initiative that would target law firms contracted to work on behalf of the company, wherein all firms would be hit with a 30 percent reduction in their overall payment unless 30 percent of that firm’s workforce was “diverse.” Of those 30 percent, 15 percent had to be black.
Subsequently, D.C. attorney Boyden Gray sent a letter to Coca-Cola accusing them of violating the Civil Rights Act, which “prohibits all forms of racial discrimination in private contracting.”
“Racial quotas and the notion of group rights,” Gray continued, “perpetuate pernicious racial categories and rest on a false, offensive, and racist notion that blacks and other racial minorities cannot compete…It is not enough for Coke to pause this policy; it needs to publicly revoke it.”
Gray sent the letter to Coca-Cola on behalf of the nonprofit legal group Project on Fair Representation. PFR President Edward Blum concurred with Gray’s assertion that “Coca-Cola’s recently enacted law firm contracting policies are illegal,” and that “the company should publicly withdraw these racial quota requirements immediately.”
This incident is not the first time that Coca-Cola has faced backlash after internal policies were revealed to negatively impact White people. In February, an insider with the company leaked materials from an internal training session which explicitly asked employees to “be less White,” with little explanation of what exactly “being White” means.