Coca-Cola has paused its controversial diversity plan — that included penalties on outside law firms if they failed to meet racial diversity quotas — after intense backlash.
The pause comes after the orchestrator of the plan, Coke’s former general counsel Bradley Gayton, abruptly resigned last month after less than a year on the job and as criticism of the quotas mounted.
Some questioned whether Gayton’s policies violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which says employers can’t treat people differently based on their race.
Scott Leith, a spokesman for Coke, said Gayton’s replacement, Monica Howard Douglas, is now reviewing the plan.
Legal defense foundation Project on Fair Representation published an open letter to Coca-Cola last week warning that Coke’s outside counsel “racial quota requirements” are “unlawful.”