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SHRM Advocacy

Workplace Equity

SHRM is committed to fostering workplace environments where diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility are interwoven into the cultural fabric. We champion positive workplace cultures that inherently discourage harassment and discrimination while advocating for equitable pay practices anchored in substantive business objectives. At SHRM, we celebrate and strive for equitable workplaces where every individual has the opportunity to thrive.

SHRM's Position on Workplace Equity:

SHRM advocates for the creation of better workplaces by urging employers to cultivate a culture that inherently discourages harassment and discrimination — not just through policy but as a fundamental workplace ethos. SHRM encourages proactive pay audits by employers to identify and rectify compensation disparities and supports transparent communication regarding pay structures and expectations. Moreover, SHRM champions a consistent federal standard for “equal pay for equal work” to avoid the confusion of varied state and local regulations.

It is time for all organizations to become more people centric. Success in the workplace means prioritizing the management of people, guiding employees’ development and cultivating a strong sense of collective purpose at work. Put frankly, it means focusing on “workplace culture” — the glue that keeps an organization together.

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President and CEO


SHRM Public Comments on Workplace Equity

In 2023, SHRM has submitted 11 public comments to influence workplace policies. Below are a few noteworthy examples: 

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    Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

    On August 11, the EEOC issued its proposed regulations to implement the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The PWFA was passed by Congress in late 2022 as part of the omnibus spending bill and went into effect on July 27, 2023. SHRM championed the enactment of this historic bipartisan legislation because the PWFA includes important workplace protections for pregnant workers, and ensures employers have flexibility and clarity regarding how to handle workplace accommodations for pregnant employees. SHRM’s public comment advocated for the final regulations to leverage existing structures, like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to shape the accommodation processes, allowing organizations to understand and implement the new law.

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    Workplace Harassment

    In response to the EEOC’s proposed guidelines on workplace harassment, SHRM submitted a public comment that expressed the need for workplaces to be free from abusive, harassing or otherwise discriminatory conduct and language. In addition, SHRM advocated that the EEOC address the possibly confusing — and maybe conflicting — stances on the usage of “protected-class epithets” and how that interacts with recent decisions from the National Labor Relations Board about Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act. 

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    Inclusion, Equity & Diversity Principles

    On January 5, SHRM submitted a comment in response to the U.S. Department of Commerce's request for public input on draft Business Diversity Principles (BDPs), which outlined best practices related to inclusion, equity, and diversity (IE&D) in the private sector and the impact of IE&D initiatives. SHRM’s comment emphasized the power of data to advance equity as data should be leveraged to drive informed decision-making and effective action. Additionally, companies should seek out untapped talent pools and expand the ways in which talent is evaluated for open positions. Finally, organizations should be evaluating their workforce development benefits as they will need a future-proof workforce equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to adapt and thrive. SHRM has a long-standing commitment to advancing policies that create inclusive workplaces. We offer a comprehensive suite of resources and tools to help HR professionals build inclusive workplaces and develop diverse talent pipelines.

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Generation Cares

Generation Cares is a cross-sector coalition dedicated to improving the quality and quantity of care for children, people with disabilities and older adults.