Bill would ban diversity, equity and inclusion at Texas universities

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — As Gov. Greg Abbott tells state agencies that using diversity, equity and inclusion criteria in the hiring process is “illegal,” lawmakers in the legislature are pushing against the practice in Texas universities.

State representative Carl Tepper, R-Lubbock, filed a bill to prohibit higher education institutions from funding or supporting diversity, equity and inclusion offices. HB 1006 also prohibits any efforts to formulate diversity “beyond what is necessary to uphold the equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment.”

“We call it division, inequity and indoctrination. The DEI office name is a misnomer,” Tepper said. “We feel like it’s purposely being misused, to push a very woke very liberal agenda. You can have any belief you want, you can have any care about race relations or sexual relations or what have you. But we think that on the state dollar, and the state budget, that these universities, these state departments, departments of the state of Texas, should be neutral.”

Tepper’s alma mater Texas Tech University, now in his district, said its Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion works “to foster, affirm, celebrate, engage and strengthen inclusive communities.” They provide mentors to first-generation students, cultural centers for minority students and outlets for the campus to engage with the intercultural community.

Tepper said he hopes his bill will get rid of those outlets. He called Texas Tech’s Black Cultural Center “self-segregation.”

“I would do away with that. We have some wonderful facilities for everyone,” he said. “We want our students to learn together and play together, interact together, not as a segregated society. We want to see distinguished Black alumni, the portraits of distinguished Black alumni all over campus, not just in the Black Cultural Center.”

Some attorneys worry the recent restrictions of DEI policies are misguided. Jay Ellwanger,

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Legal Briefs: News From Around NH

U.S. Department of Labor is launching an effort to alert families throughout the nation of changes in federal law that now extend the rights to pump breastmilk at work to more women, including those employed as teachers, farmworkers and care workers.

The newly enacted Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act extends the rights of nursing mothers to have time and a private space to pump breastmilk at work. Under the PUMP Act, more workers in more industries are now protected by the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The new protections also expand remedies available to these workers if their employers do not comply with the law.

The campaign by the department’s Wage and Hour Division – which enforces the PUMP Act and the FLSA – provides information about worker protections for nursing mothers includes national outreach and a website providing guidance, fact sheets and other resources for workers and employers.

Among the PUMP Act’s provisions is the extension of rights and protections to have break time and space to pump breast milk at work to include millions of working women not previously covered by the FLSA. It also allows working women to

Jaybuckey

Jay Buckey

take legal action and seek monetary remedies if their employer fails to comply with federal law.

Buckey joins Shaheen & Gordon

Attorney Jay Buckey has joined the to the civil litigation practice group of Shaheen & Gordon, working out of the firm’s Concord office.

Buckey, who previously worked as a managing attorney at the New Hampshire Public Defender, works with clients on a variety of civil matters from representation of individual clients to complex commercial disputes, including in Superior Court and federal District Court. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Vermont Law School, teaching criminal law.

Formella urges Biden

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