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Eleventh Circuit Won't Remove Block on Florida Anti-DEI Training Law

    Client Alerts
  • March 08, 2024

On Monday, a unanimous panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reverse an injunction barring enforcement of portions of Florida’s Individual Freedom Act. The law in question would bar employers from mandating most diversity, equity, and inclusion training for employees. The court said that the law directly violated the First Amendment by directing what employers can and cannot require based on the content of the training.

The law lists eight separate ideas that it characterizes as offensive, including the concept that individuals are inherently racist or sexist due to their race or sex. Florida argued that it was not banning speech, but rather conduct as manifested by mandatory meetings. The Eleventh Circuit noted that the law only bars such meetings based on the content of the speech expressed during them, in direct violation of the First Amendment. The state could appeal this decision to the full Eleventh Circuit or to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, other states considering similar legislation may be deterred by the failure of the Florida law to survive federal legal challenge.

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