Both the U.S. and the European Union (EU) recognize the importance of combating discrimination, and have implemented laws and regulations to further that goal. One particularly regulated area where lawmakers are trying to stamp out discrimination is in employment law. Employers operating or incorporated in the U.S. and EU are legally prohibited from discriminating against their employees. In addition, many employers, recognizing the value of a diverse workforce, have implemented initiatives designed to foster diversity within their organizations.

Protective data privacy regulations, however, constitute unique barriers that impede the efforts of employers operating in the EU from implementing employment diversity programs as well as being able to ensure compliance with anti-discrimination laws. This article will analyze the obstacles that the EU data privacy regulations pose to both EU and US-based employers that wish to foster a diverse workforce and ensure compliance with EU anti-discrimination directives.