Labor and Employment Law

Ca. Labor & Emp't Rev. March 2022, Volume 36 No. 2


By Latika Malkani

Latika Malkani is a partner at Siegel LeWitter Malkani. She represents employees seeking justice and improved conditions in the workplace. Ms. Malkani has helped hundreds of employees establish better working conditions, negotiate severance and post-separation packages, as well as obtain fair and just compensation through enforcement of state and federal laws. She is Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section’s Executive Committee.

On June 6, 2020, half a million people showed up in nearly 550 locations throughout our country to support Black Lives Matter, to protest the brutal murders of George Floyd and many other Black Americans, and to protest the systemic racism and police violence that has been embedded in the fabric of America.1 Those protests and gatherings continued for months, with attendees reported to be younger, wealthier, and whiter than those who had participated in prior Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests.2 Within months, "Diversity Equity Inclusion" (DEI) oriented groups materialized with renewed enthusiasm, everywhere from corporate cafeterias to suburban parent clubs to voluntary bar associations—including within the California Lawyers Association (CLA).3

Nearly two years later, has California’s legal profession made any meaningful strides to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within our ranks? What, if anything, have we accomplished to move towards a cadre of lawyers who more resemble the population of California that we aim to serve? As you might imagine, some progress has been made, but we have far to go. California’s lawyers do not reflect the population that we serve, and the discrepancies are glaring. We have much to do, and I invite you to join your Section and CLA leadership in moving the needle forward towards diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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