Melissa Atkins Talks About the Changes in Corporate America’s Diversity Initiatives in The Wall Street Journal

February 13, 2024

Obermayer labor and employment partner Melissa Atkins was quoted in The Wall Street Journal on February 5, 2024, in connection with corporate America’s diversity initiatives and the potential legal ramifications if these programs violate regulations, such as numerical targets that can be seen as “quotas” or the use of unconscious bias training that casts blame. 

Aggrieved white employees are increasingly bringing lawsuits over what some term “reverse discrimination,” and in some cases winning damages in the tens of millions of dollars.

“They’re real,” said Melissa Atkins. “You see more of them now than you have in years past.”

Fixed numerical targets, sometimes seen as quotas, have drawn particular attention in the new environment, and lawyers say they can potentially open a company up to legal action. 

Melissa represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. Before joining Obermayer, Melissa worked as a Deputy City Solicitor in the Labor and Employment Unit for the City of Philadelphia and in the Employment Law practice group of one of the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance companies.

Read “Corporate America Tweaks Diversity Initiatives Amid Pushback” here.