Conservative Legal Group Calls Kellogg’s ‘Woke’ Workplace Diversity Programs Illegal
America First Legal, a conservative legal group, urged a U.S. anti-discriminatory agency to investigate Kellogg’s due to workplace diversity policies and claims the cereal brand sexualizes its products.
America First Legal is a nonprofit run by former Donald Trump adviser Stephen Miller. The group also attacked Cheez-It’s for its marketing campaign featuring drag queen Ru Paul and Kellogg’s cereal boxes celebrating LGBTQ pride month, Reuters reports.
“Management has discarded the company’s long-held family-friendly marketing approach to politicize and sexualize its products,” the group said in a statement.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigates complaints, known as charges, filed by workers. Each of the five commissioners can also launch their own investigations and file charges if workplace discrimination has occurred.
Commissioner charges are rare, but last year, a vacancy on the commission created a 2-2 stalemate between Democratic and Republican appointees leading to commissioners filing 29 charges and affecting the commission’s ability to bring large-scale cases against corporations.
The EEOC has not indicated whether it would investigate America First Legal’s claims.
Kellogg’s, the maker of Corn Flakes, said in a statement on Thursday, Aug. 10, that it is committed to complying with employment laws and has policies prohibiting workplace discrimination.
“At Kellogg, our aspiration is to better reflect the diversity of our consumers and to strengthen our inclusive culture,” Kellogg’s said in a statement.
Last month, the U.S. Senate confirmed civil rights lawyer Kalpana Kotagal, a Democratic nominee of President Joe Biden, as Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, giving Democrats a 3-2 majority.
Many expect increased challenges to diversity programs in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court striking down affirmative action in college admissions.
America First’s letter to the EEOC cited Kellogg’s desire to have “25% underrepresented talent at the management level” by 2025 and running fellowship programs only open to racial minorities.
“Kellogg’s employment practices are unlawfully based on ‘equity,’ which is a euphemism for illegal discrimination,” Reed Rubenstein, an America First lawyer, wrote in the letter, according to Reuters.
The group also sued Target concerning its LGBTQ-themed merchandise during Pride Month earlier this year. The complaints are part of a campaign by conservative groups against gender and diversity policies established during the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement.