“Shark Tank” co-host Mark Cuban has found himself in potentially dangerous legal waters after a tense exchange on social media regarding his companies’ hiring practices.
The billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner has made a point as of late to go out of his way to defend DEI hiring standards within his companies.
In a recent exchange on X, Cuban doubled down on using race and gender as part of the hiring equation.
I’ve never hired anyone based exclusively on race, gender, religion.
I only ever hire the person that will put my business in the best position to succeed.
And yes, race and gender can be part of the equation. I view diversity as a competitive advantage
Now how would you… https://t.co/gxdtauMHtz
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 28, 2024
Shortly after Cuban’s tweet was posted, Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Andrea R. Lucas, posted a clarifying response.
@mcuban, EEOC Commissioner here. Unfortunately you’re dead wrong on black-letter Title VII law. As a general rule, race/sex can’t even be a “motivating factor”—nor a plus factor, tie-breaker, or tipping point. It’s important employers understand the ground rules here.
— Andrea R. Lucas (@andrealucasEEOC) January 29, 2024
Pretty cut and dry there, isn’t it.
Neither race, nor gender, can be a “motivating factor” in the hiring process.
Trending Politics had more on the story:
In a series of tweets, Cuban defended his approach to hiring, saying that he never hires based solely on race, gender, or religion, but considers these factors as part of a broader strategy to create a diverse and competitive business environment.
“I only ever hire the person that will put my business in the best position to succeed,” Cuban stated, adding, “And yes, race and gender can be part of the equation. I view diversity as a competitive advantage.”
In past discussions, Cuban has countered the notion that DEI equates to racism.
The remarks drew immediate attention, leading to a response from Andrea R. Lucas, the Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC. Lucas pointed out that under Title VII law, race and sex cannot be used as a ‘motivating factor’ in employment decisions, not even as a plus factor, tie-breaker, or tipping point. She pointed out the importance of employers understanding and adhering to these legal parameters.
Online reactions to the EEOC commissioner taking Cuban to school were swift.
Mark Cuban just casually admitted to breaking the law in his hiring practices.
A commissior for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (@USEEOC) set him straight.
Mark Cuban opened himself up to endless lawsuits…
DEI needs to be abolished. It’s poison. pic.twitter.com/0secsM2LaK
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) January 29, 2024
No way 😂😂😂
The official commissioner for the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission tells Mark Cuban his hiring practices are illegal and racist
— Ashley St. Clair (@stclairashley) January 29, 2024
SCNR detailed more of the exchange that occurred Sunday:
On Sunday, Cuban engaged in a lengthy back-and-forth conversation on X with “The Rabbit Hole,” an X account with over half a million followers that describes itself as “navigating the discourse” in its bio. The exchange occurred after Cuban shared an NBC News article on “right-wing influencers'” criticism of DEI policies.
Throughout the exchange, Cuban detailed his own theories and business practices which include valuing diversity hires as an asset to placing his businesses in favorable positions for success.
Cuban insisted he had never hired anyone based “exclusively” on race, gender, or religion.