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Texas Governor Greg Abbott says it is illegal to use diversity and equity principles in state employment

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s administration is telling state agencies and public universities that it is illegal to use diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring decisions.

Gardner Pate, the Republican governor’s chief of staff, said in a note over the weekend that while the DEI initiative may sound harmless, it actually “provides policies that clearly favor some demographic groups.” It is an unfair way to impose and harm other people.

“When state agencies adjust employment practices based on factors other than merit, they are not following the law,” Pate wrote. “The renaming of this employment discrimination as ‘DEI’ does not make the practice unlawful. “

The memo was first reported by the Texas Tribune on Monday. His one of the memos was obtained by his KHOU in Houston and sent to Porter Wilson, the state’s director of employee retirement plans.

Pate did not disclose which demographic groups are being discriminated against as a result of the DEI initiative. But he said using taxpayer dollars to fund DEI offices, departments and positions is outside the law.

The memo did not refer to specific laws that DEI practices violate. It used language alluding to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, sex, religion, or national origin.

DEI advocates argue the policy will create a more welcoming workplace for underrepresented or historically discriminated against racial and sexual minorities and people with disabilities. .

The ultimate goal is to increase diversity in offices and workplaces, but Pate’s letter argues that “these DEI initiatives are having the opposite effect.”

“Illegally adding the DEI requirement as a screening tool for employment practices or using the DEI as a condition of employment leads to exclusion and marginalization of individuals from the workplace,” Pate wrote.

According to The Dallas Morning News, two state-funded agencies, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the University of Texas at Austin, are actively posting DEI-related job openings.

The Times also reported that the Texas State Libraries and Archives Commission withdrew its job offer for an equity consultant in January.

Texas Tech University announced Tuesday that it will stop requiring job seekers to submit a DEI statement after discovering one of its departments requires one.

The letter from the Abbott administration comes a week after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, also a Republican, revealed plans to block the university from implementing the DEI program.

This article is based in part on a news agency report. Texas Governor Greg Abbott says it is illegal to use diversity and equity principles in state employment

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