​Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity in the Workplace Concentration or Minor

Do you have a passion for understanding the situation of, and improving the treatment of, a particular group of Americans – such as Asian Americans, teen-age women, Haitian immigrants, or people with disabilities? There is much to learn about how to achieve social justice for everyone by studying the struggles of various diverse groups in the workplace and in society.  We offer this focus either as a concentration within the Labor Studies and Employment Relations major or as a minor!

Careers related to Diversity in the Workplace

  • Diversity specialist. Diversity professionals work in all types of organizations. They not only help ensure compliance with state and federal laws, but they also help employers foster the talent present in all of their employees. A Master of Labor and Employment Relations degree or a Graduate Certificate in Diversity and Workplace Inclusion, offered by SMLR, prepares students for higher-level jobs in this field; the undergraduate program in Labor Studies & Employment Relations is a good place to start.
  • Public policy advocate. There are a variety of interest organizations representing the needs of various groups in our society: immigrants, the disabled, women, African-Americans, Muslim-Americans, and so on. Work related issues are hugely important to all these different groups, and individuals with a background in workplace diversity will be a valuable resource for these organizations.
  • Public agency staff. Specialized public agencies exist to enforce the law on discrimination at various levels of government. These range from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Some staff jobs are open only to attorneys but others may be filled by individuals with a Bachelors or Masters degree. Obtaining a degree with a focus on diversity in the workplace will make you a stronger candidate for these positions.
  • Attorney. Attorneys work in law firms, corporations, unions, other employee-rights organizations, and government or non-profit institutions like universities. Many deal with discrimination-related law or immigration law – some on behalf of plaintiffs and some on behalf of defendants. Labor Studies & Employment Relations provides an excellent preparation for Law School, and an eventual career as an attorney specializing in these areas.

For the minor:  To complete a minor in Work Organization and Management, six courses are required.  You must take (a) One 100-level Labor Studies & Employment Relations course, (b) one course in category A and three in category B from the list below, and (c) one other course at the 200 level or higher offered by the Labor Studies and Employment Relations Department.

For the major concentration:  To complete a concentration in Diversity in the Workplace, you must fulfill all the requirements of the major, including one course in category A and three or more courses in category B from the list below.  Courses in the concentration count toward the major.


Courses specific to the Diversity in the Workplace concentration or minor:

A. Must take at least one:

  • 37:575:315           Employment Law, or
  • 37:575:316           Employment Discrimination Law


B. Must take at least three

  • 37:575:303           Black Workers in American Society
  • 37:575:307           Latino Workers in the U.S.
  • 37:575:309           Working Women in American Society
  • 37:575:315           Employment Law
  • 37:575:316           Employment Discrimination Law
  • 37:575:320           Immigration and Public Policy
  • 37:575:321           Immigration Law and Employee Rights 
  • 37:575:335           Women and the Labor Movement:  A Global Perspective
  • 37:575:364           Diversity in the Workplace
  • 37:575:365           Disability, Work and Society
  • 37:575:366           Asian American Workers in a Global Context
  • 37:575:367           Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
  • 37:575:368           Professional Development Strategies


Labor Studies & Employment Relations Faculty Involved in this Area

Vik Advani, Instructor, J.D., Rutgers-Camden

Dana Britton, Professor, Ph.D., Texas

Dorothy Sue Cobble, Professor II, Ph.D., Stanford

James Cooney, Assistant Teaching Professor, J.D., University of Miami

Janice Fine, Associate Professor, Ph.D., MIT

Carla Katz, Assistant Teaching Professor, Seton Hall

Tamara Lee, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Cornell

Carmen Martino, Instructor, MLER, Rutgers

Anne-Michelle Marsden, Instructor, M.S., Florida State

Lisa Schur, Professor, Ph.D. California

Saunjuhi Verma, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Chicago


For more information contact our undergraduate advisors Amy Marchitto at lobelo@smlr.rutgers.edu or 848-932-8559 and Talia Schank at talia.schank@rutgers.edu or 848-932-1749 and the Director of Student Services, Akhila Naik at an332@rutgers.edu or 848-932-1981.