"Keeping Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives Legal"

Doug Kauffman, partner in the Birmingham office and member of the Labor & Employment Practice, and Brandi A. Russell, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Director of Talent Management, recently presented at the Alabama Self-Insurers Association’s (ASIA) Summer Conference in Destin, Florida on August 7, 2022. Their presentation, “Keeping Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives Legal,” focused on when and how minority status such as race and gender may be used in selection and the proper messaging of such initiatives throughout organizations.



  • Learning about self-analysis, determinations of under-representation and reasonable remedial measures.
  • Application of the “plus factor” for under-represented candidates.
  • Understanding the line between remedial action and discrimination.
  • How to message efforts in an organization that does not offend the workforce.


ASIA was formed with the goal of helping employers understand the law and any proposed changes, as they seek to ensure equitable coverage for injured employees.

Doug counsels organizations on how to manage their most valuable assets: their employers. He has counseled large and small employers for over 20 years by helping them stay up to date on the law, regulations and best practices with respect to employment compliance. He also handles complaints or audits by various government agencies, such as the EEOC, the Department of Labor, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and he litigates all employment issues in court.

In her role at Balch, Brandi works alongside firm leadership and its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council to lead the firm’s diversity strategy, addressing opportunities to enhance diversity and inclusion at every level. In addition, she has expanded recruitment and retention initiatives with a focus on next generation talent. Brandi also directs the implementation of the firm’s professional development program to ensure attorneys have the resources needed to achieve their career goals and deliver great value to clients.